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June 9, 2009

New Federal Legislation Targets Baby Bath Products

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York recently introduced the Safe Baby Products Act, which would direct the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate and regulate hazardous contaminants in personal care products marketed to or used by children.

Sen. Gillibrand—who was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Senator Hillary Clinton became U.S. Secretary of State—introduced the bill in response to a study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which revealed that many widely used baby shampoos and bubble baths contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, which may be hazardous in certain quantities. The chemicals are not listed on labels because contaminants are exempt from labeling laws.

The campaign also recently sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson asking the company by the end of August to reformulate its personal care products so that they are free of 1,4-dioxane and preservatives that release formaldehyde.

The Safe Baby Products Act would direct FDA to test a wide range of children’s personal care products, publicly report the findings and establish good manufacturing practices to reduce or eliminate hazardous contaminants from products.

“We applaud Sen. Gillibrand for being a champion for children’s health,” said Lisa Archer, national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

“This bill is a good step forward, because it would give parents the right to know what's in the bath products they use on their kids, and would give FDA authority to keep dangerous chemicals out of children’s bath products. Next, we need to overhaul cosmetics laws so the FDA can fully assess and assure the safety of all personal care products.”

The campaign released its test results in March. At that time, Dr. John Bailey, chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council, said the “extremely low” levels of chemicals in the products tested “are not a cause for health concern.”

Oregon Bill Would Ban Certain Dish Detergents

In Oregon, the Senate voted to ban dishwasher detergents with high amounts of phosphorous, bringing Oregon in line with a dozen other states, including Washington, according to news reports. Portland Sen. Jackie Dingfelder introduced the bill.

Phosphorous has long been regulated in cleaning agents such as laundry detergent but not dish soap. It is said the substance may promote the growth of algae, which impacts the exchange of oxygen and aquatic life in rivers, lakes and other water sources.

States including Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts have approved bans that will go into effect July 2010.

The Council To Host Annual Legal Conference June 17-19 in Vancouver

It’s that time of the year again. This month, from June 17-19, The Personal Care Products Council will conduct its annual 2009 Legal & Regulatory Conference at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

According to The Council, the event is the premier annual session for industry general counsel and legal staff, regulatory affairs staff and outside counsel representing member companies.
The 2009 Conference will feature sessions on such diverse topics as:
• Proliferation of Chemical Lists Abroad and At Home: What It Means for Our Industry;
• Advertising: Testimonials and Endorsements, Branded Entertainment, New Media;
• Social Online Networking in the Workplace—Issues and Boundaries Industry Growth and Opportunities in Latin America; and
• Regulatory Roundtable: An Overview of What to Expect from Key U.S. Regulatory Agencies Under the Obama Administration.

As of June 2009, everyone traveling to Canada by air, land or sea is required to produce a passport. If you already have a valid passport, double check the expiration date as it needs to be valid for six months following your departure.

For more information, contact The Council’s Events Department at (202) 331-1770 or

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