March 05, 2021

FDA Lists Cancer-Related PFAs in Cosmetics Amidst Push for California-Modeled National Law

The FDA has posted, for the first time, information regarding per- or poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, that might be found in personal care products. This move comes amidst an advocate-led effort to incorporate two California laws-- one that banned 24 chemical ingredients, including 13 PFAS, from cosmetics and one requiring manufacturers to disclose flavor and fragrance ingredients in cosmetics by 2022--into a possible national law. 

The agency’s new page will provide consumers with “labeling information on common PFAs used as ingredients in certain cosmetic products, the research to date, and FDA’s continued efforts to monitor the scientific literature on developments.”

Advocates for stricter regulation argue that the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act gives FDA authority over cosmetic products, but fails to give FDA the mandate to oversee their safety. Currently, FDA does not review cosmetic products before they hit the market.