A new act called the “No PFAs in makeup” is all set to be introduced in the US house and senate on Tuesday.
The act was followed by the release of a new study that finds high-level markers for the presence of toxic substances called PFA in 52% of the total 231 makeup products that are popular in the US and Canada.
The Latest Study Finds Makeup May Contain Toxic Chemical PFA
The highest level of PFAs was noted in foundations (63%), waterproof mascara (82%), and long-lasting lipstick (62%).
Findings of the study:
The data was published on Tuesday in the journal called Environmental Science and Technology Letters.
Moreover, the study observed that 88% of the products did not disclose the markers on the ingredients label although that is a requisite condition of the US Food and Drug Administration.
As stated by a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an organization that keeps a record on toxin containing personal care products, David Andrews, such observations are quite surprising and a warning call for the cosmetic industry in terms of the widespread use of toxic PFAs in their products.
Prevalence of PFAs in the consumer market:
The most common type of PFA is polytetrafluoroethylene, or commonly known as Teflon that is used in the coating of non-stick utensils.
However, 13 PFA compounds have been identified in more than 600 products manufactured by 80 brands, states Andrews, who was not part of the particular study.
The bill regarding PFA will be introduced in the US Senate on Tuesday by Republican Sen. Susan Collins from Maines, and Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic Sen.
In the house, the bill will be placed by Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingel, Michigan.
Collins issues a statement that says that Americans should be assured about the safety of the products that they are using on their skin or hair.
Collin further adds that the bill aims at empowering the FDA to ban the addition of PFAs in cosmetic products to ensure the safety of the people and prevent further exposure to PFA.
What are PFAs:
PFAs are a chemical chain made up of carbon and fluorine atoms that do not degrade in nature.
Moreover, scientists have not been able to determine the half-life of PFA, that is, the time required for 50% of the chemical to degrade and disappear, as explained by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.
In the present commercial markets, PFAs are used in all types of products like non-stick cooking utensils, infection-resistant surgical drapes and gowns, semiconductors, cell phones, low emission vehicles, and commercial aircraft.
This chemical is also widely used in the manufacture of carpets, clothing items, furniture, food packaging materials that are resistant to damage caused by water, grease, and stains.
The way ahead:
The use of PFA in cosmetic products is not new. As stated by the FDA, they are routinely added to cosmetics to improve the look and functioning of the product, thus enhancing the overall quality.
However, those who are concerned about the presence of toxins in their makeup can avoid the risks associated with it by cutting down on the use of water-resistant or long-lasting makeup.
Since the makeup containing the highest levels of PFA are labeled under these two categories.
Although there are products that are labeled as organic and safe, experts are not yet convinced to consider them as absolutely safe.
Since such labels can provide these products with a marketing edge, they can contain chemicals that can still be controversial in terms of safety for human use.
Some retailer chains like Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and Amazon states that they will now scrutinize products like hair straighteners, relaxers, skin lightening creams, and coloring creams for the presence of toxins in them to ensure customer safety.