[Blog] Washington’s Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act passes in the State Senate

April 8, 2023

Read the full article by Toxic Free Future

"Today, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (HB 1047)—sponsored by Washington State Representative Sharlett Mena (29th Legislative District)— passed in the Washington State Senate with a vote of 28-20-1. The legislation bans PFAS, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers, and other harmful chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products. The bill passed in the Washington State House of Representatives on March 1, 2023 with a vote of 55-41. It now heads back to the House of Representatives for a concurrence vote before moving to the Governor’s desk. If signed, this law will become the strongest in the country regulating toxic chemicals in beauty and personal care products and establishing incentives for safer products. 

“You shouldn’t have to be a toxicologist to shop for your cosmetics. When we go to the store, we assume that a product on the shelf is safe, but that isn’t always the truth. When we find these toxics in certain cosmetics, it doesn’t mean that everybody is getting just a little bit of exposure. A lot of us go back to the same products and the same brands, so functionally, some of us are getting more exposure than others,” said Rep. Sharlett Mena (D-Tacoma). “What the Washington Department of Ecology found is that many of the products that contain the most harmful toxic chemicals are the ones that are targeted towards women of color. I am proud that Washington is taking a stand and leading the nation by banning these harmful products. This bill will ensure that the products that we use over and over again are not harming us or the environment.”

“We are thrilled that the Senate passed this bill, which brings us another step closer towards safer cosmetics and personal care products for Washington state and beyond,” said Laurie Valeriano, executive director, Toxic-Free Future. “It is outrageous that we have to worry about PFAS and other hazardous chemicals in products we apply to our bodies that are then washed down the drain and wind up in our waterways. This bill will set a national precedent in protecting us from unnecessary exposures to dangerous chemicals like PFAS, lead, and formaldehyde, and will increase the availability of safer products. We are grateful for the leadership of Reps. Mena, Doglio, and Fitzgibbon, and Senators Nguyen, Trudeau, Rolfes and Saldaña to get this important bill passed. We urge the House of Representatives to concur and send this important public health measure to Governor Inslee for his signature.”