New Hampshire's two U.S. Senators support legislation that would ban per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in cosmetics.

Last week, U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Maggie Hassan, D-NH, helped introduce the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act. The bipartisan bill is led by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

The Senate bill is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, Dianne Feinstein, D- Calif., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY.

The bipartisan bill was introduced on June 15, the same day a new study was published. That study revealed that PFAS can be found in makeup products including foundations, mascaras and lip products.

Thomas Northcut

To come up with the results for "Fluorinated Compounds in North American Cosmetics," 231 cosmetic products purchased in the U.S. and Canada were screened for total fluorine.

The researchers concluded that given their direct exposure routes into people, better regulation is needed to limit the widespread use of PFAS in cosmetics.

According to Graham Peaslee, senior author of the study and professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, lipstick wearers may inadvertently eat several pounds of lipstick in their lifetimes. She said most makeup wearers are unknowingly wearing PFAS and other harmful chemicals on their faces.

First developed in the 1940s, PFAS can be found in firefighting foam, food packaging, nonstick pans, clothing and furniture.

PFAS has been a concern on the Seacoast of New Hampshire for years, as those forever chemicals have been found in drinking water and in Great Bay. Some of the PFAS in Great Bay comes from wastewater facilities, according to researchers at the University of New Hampshire.

Political leaders on both sides have worked to fight PFAS contamination and to ban products that contain these chemicals.

Shaheen said she is glad to be part of a bipartisan effort to ban these contaminants from makeup and other personal care products that are a part of American's daily routines.

Jeanne Shaheen (Courtesy Photo)
Jeanne Shaheen (Courtesy Photo)

“PFAS contamination is a pervasive problem that has found its way into our water supplies, soil, air and even everyday products such as makeup and moisturizer. This is unacceptable and demands a meaningful response from Congress to mitigate exposure to ensure the health and safety of American families," Shaheen said in a statement.

Hassan said in a statement that it is alarming hazardous PFAS chemicals are found in the makeup that so many Granite Staters and Americans use every day, including mascaras and lipsticks.

Maggie Hassan (Courtesy)
Maggie Hassan (Courtesy)

“These dangerous toxins can cause long-term health challenges for people who are exposed, and I am glad to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce this important legislation to ensure that these substances will no longer be intentionally added to the products that you can find in the beauty aisle of your neighborhood drug store,” Hassan said.

The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act would direct officials at the Food and Drug Administration to issue a proposed rule banning the intentional addition of PFAS in cosmetics within 270 days of enactment, and require a final rule to be issued 90 days thereafter.

A companion bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Annie Kuster, D-NH, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Rep. John Katko, R-NY.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at

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