Although The California Safe Cosmetics Act was passed in 2005, it wasn’t until recently that a website went live to let consumers explore the database. The Act requires companies that manufacture cosmetics to report any cosmetics products that contain ingredients known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. The California Safe Cosmetics Program (CSCP) collects this data and makes it available to the public through www.safecosmeticsact.org/search.
According to Dr. Ron Chapman, the public health department’s director, a product’s listing in the database does not mean it causes cancer, but that it hasn’t been extensively tested for safety. The database currently holds ingredient information for about 30,000 products.
Halyna Breslawec, PhD, chief scientist, Personal Care Products Council, said that US cosmetics and personal care products companies provided a wealth of ingredient information to the state.
“We appreciate the state’s efforts to create an online repository of ingredient information already found on product labels and submitted to the FDA under the Voluntary Cosmetic Reporting Program (VCRP),” said Breslawec. “The state’s website, however, simply presents raw data that requires more context if it is to be meaningful and properly understood by the public. For example, it is important for consumers to be informed that the ingredients listed on the website are found at concentration levels that scientists and authoritative bodies in California and around the world have deemed safe. Other factors such as usage patterns that would provide consumers with necessary perspective are missing.”