Days after a new study revealed that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are found in foundations, mascaras and lip products, representatives in Washington, DC, introduced bipartisan legislation that would ban PFAS chemicals in cosmetics.

The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act was introduced on Thursday by Rep. Annie Kuster, D-NH, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Rep. John Katko, R-NY.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have introduced a companion bill in the Senate, according to a press release.

"The lack of transparency and safeguards for ingredients in personal care and cosmetic products is alarming and leaves Americans vulnerable to potentially dangerous chemicals, including PFAS,” Kuster said in a statement.

Kuster said that from shampoo to makeup, consumers deserve to know that the products they use are safe for them, their families, and the environment.

Thomas Northcut

According to the researchers behind the study and Euromonitor International, in 2019, the retail value of personal care products was estimated to be more than $100 billion in North America, with approximately $20 billion coming from cosmetics.

"PFAS in cosmetics may pose a risk to human health through direct and indirect exposure, as well as a risk to ecosystem health throughout the lifecycle of these products. PFAS are used in cosmetics due to their properties such hydrophobicity and film-forming ability, which are thought to increase product wear, durability, and spreadability. Additional claimed benefits are increased skin absorption of the product and improvements in the appearance or texture of skin," is written in the introduction of the study.

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.

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.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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