California Update

On August 26, 2004, the entire cosmetic industry dodged a bullet--or rather, Armageddon1–by a single vote. The California Assembly rejected a bill that would have prohibited California companies from making or selling cosmetic/ personal care items that contain phthalates and other ingredients considered under this law as toxic. The vote was 4 in favor, 5 opposed and 10 others either abstained or weren’t present.

I feel confident this will resurface in 2005 and feel everyone should understand the history of this bill and the potential impact this would have had. Knowing this, we must prepare for the next time this is introduced in California, or anywhere.

Had this passed, I feel it would have been the end of our industry.

On February 13, 2004, Assemblywoman Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), California, United States, introduced Assembly bill 2012. This bill was related to motor vehicle records and who could access confidential information. On this same date, she introduced AB 2025 called Cosmetics: Prohibited Substances. This bill was amended in the Assembly on April 12, 2004, and basically prohibited manufacturing or selling any cosmetic that had prohibited substances in it. A prohibited substance was defined as any Category 1, 2 or 3 CMRs (carcinogens, mutagens or toxic to reproductions) from the European Union Directive 67/648/ EEC (the dangerous substance directive); and anything on Annex II of the EU Cosmetic Directive. This was amended on April 15, 2004, to change prohibited substance (from the EU) to mean a chemical identified as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity as established by California’s OEHHA (Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment) and other groups. Further it required a “safe use determination” by OEHHA of any cancer-causing chemical. On April 20, 2004, Chu withdrew this bill.

On June 1, 2004, AB 2012 (regarding vehicle records) failed to make it through the Committee on Appropriations. On June 16, the bill was completely altered and called Cosmetics: Cancer and Reproductive Toxicity. This was AB 2025 (referred to as Version I) repackaged.

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