Senator Leyva Introduces Toxic Fragrance and Flavor Chemicals Right to Know Act of 2019

SB 574 “will empower consumers so that they can make educated decisions”

Friday, February 22, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) introduced legislation earlier today that would require companies selling beauty or personal care products in California to report the presence of toxic fragrance and flavor ingredients in their products to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Safe Cosmetics Program.  This information would then be publicly available through CDPH’s Safe Cosmetics Database.

Recent data compiled by Women’s Voices for the Earth reveals that a third of all fragrance chemicals currently in use have been flagged as potentially toxic by scientists around the world.

“In California, we actually know more about the fragrance ingredients in products that we use to clean our homes than those that we put on our faces or bodies,” Senator Leyva said. “Consumers have a right to know what ingredients are in the beauty and personal care products they bring home to their families and use daily on their bodies. The bottom line is that no toxic ingredients should be kept secret. SB 574 will empower consumers so that they can make educated decisions about which products to use with their kids and families.”

No state or federal law currently requires the disclosure of fragrance or flavor ingredients to consumers or regulatory agencies. This loophole allows dozens—sometimes even hundreds—of chemicals to hide under the word “fragrance” on the labels of beauty and personal care products with little regulatory oversight of the safety of those ingredients. The same loophole exists for flavorants, which are appearing more frequently in flavored lip gloss and chapsticks marketed to children.

Thousands of synthetic chemicals are used to create the fragrances and flavors that comprise the beauty and personal care products that we use every day. Some of these chemicals have been linked to negative health impacts ranging from allergic reactions to reproductive harm and increased risk of breast cancer. Fragrance chemicals are found in more than 95 percent of personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair styling products, antiperspirants and shaving products, as well as fine fragrances, body sprays and lotions.

SB 574 is sponsored jointly by Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, and Women’s Voices for the Earth.

Following today’s introduction, SB 574 will be considered by the appropriate Senate committee(s) later this spring.