Washington State Passes Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act

May. 24 2023

On May 15, Washington State Governor Inslee signed HB 1047 – A Bill Concerning the Use of Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetic Products also known as the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. The law prohibits multiple chemicals and chemical substances in cosmetic products. While there are some similarities to existing state cosmetic ingredient bans, there are several notable differences.

The Washington cosmetic ingredient ban prohibits the following intentionally added chemicals or chemical classes:

  • Ortho-phthalates (esters of ortho-phthalic acid)
  • Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances
    • Defined as “a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom”
  • Formaldehyde and chemicals determined by the department to release formaldehyde
  • Methylene glycol
  • Mercury and mercury compounds
  • Triclosan
  • m-Phenylenediamine and its salts
  • o-Phenylenediamine and its salts

The bill also prohibits intentionally added lead or lead compounds as well as lead or lead compounds when present at 1 ppm or above. Note: The FDA Draft Guidance: Lead in Cosmetic Lip Products and Externally Applied Cosmetics: Recommended Maximum Level has a 10 ppm lead limit.

The requirements apply to cosmetics as well as products that are classified as both a cosmetic and a drug, but does not include prescription drug products.

Most of the ingredient prohibition takes effect January 1, 2025. However, the first 10 formaldehyde releasers identified by the Department of Ecology won’t take effect until on or after January 1, 2026 and further formaldehyde releasers may be identified and enforced on or after January 1, 2027. The Department also has the option to restrict other substances after consultation and formal rulemaking. Note: In-state retailers may sell cosmetics that they have in stock as of the effective date until January 1, 2026.

Lastly, the Act includes provisions to identify and assess cosmetic chemicals that can impact vulnerable populations, supporting small business that manufacture cosmetics, and help independent cosmetologists and small businesses that provide cosmetology services, such as beauty salons, transition to safer cosmetics.

Link to the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act:

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