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Cosmetics & Hygiene Regulatory Watch

US States Regulate PFAS in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

May 2 2022

Concerns over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including PFOS and PFOA, continue to drive US legislation.

Concerns over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including PFOS and PFOA, continue to drive US legislation. 

Recent state-level bills requiring notification or prohibiting the use of PFAS are focused on cosmetics, hygiene and personal care products.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are increasingly being regulated in consumer products in the United States (US) due to their toxic effects and negative impacts on the environment. 

PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals that may be intentionally added to products or unintentionally present, due to raw material impurities or ingredient breakdown. They are chemically inert, resistant to high temperatures and are typically used to increase durability and water resistance of products. In cosmetics, in addition to those properties, they may be used to help condition and smooth skin’s appearance or affect product consistency and texture. 

In the past few months, individual US states, including California, Colorado, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, have passed legislation or proposed bills specifically regulating PFAS in cosmetics and personal care products. If pending bills are approved, the resulting regulations will require the disclosure of PFAS content and/or the restriction or prohibition of either a select list of PFAS or all PFAS in cosmetics and personal care products.

On June 17, 2021, the No PFAS In Cosmetics Act 2021 bill was proposed in the Senate. If accepted, this would ban all PFAS in cosmetics, where ‘PFAS’ means substances that include any member of the class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.

In the two summary tables below, we focus on adopted legislations (Table 1) and proposed legislation/bills (Table 2) that specify or list cosmetics and personal care products in their scope. 

You can download the full table with specifications from this link:

Download full table

For a broader perspective of PFAS legislation that may affect all products or other consumer products, please read SGS SafeGuardS U.S. Legislative Developments: PFAS in Consumer Products.

Karen Rauen, Ph.D. CPI
Cosmetics & Hygiene,
SGS Senior Technical Manager

Tags: Cosmetics


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