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Quality Assurance Project Plan: Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics

Publication number Date Published
22-03-113August 2022
VIEW NOW Quality Assurance Project Plan: Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics (Number of pages: 52) (Publication Size: 746KB)

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Author(s) Tuladhar, P.
Description Most people in the U.S. use personal care products in their daily lives regardless of their race, age, gender, and economic status. Personal care products that are poured, sprinkled, sprayed on, or applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering appearances, are defined as “cosmetics” by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Most commonly used personal care products are categorized as cosmetics. These include, but are not limited to, skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, nail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, shampoos, permanent waves, and hair colors.

People of color, especially women of color, are disproportionately exposed to harmful ingredients in cosmetics because of the different beauty standards influenced by their unique cultural ideals, product preferences, and beauty practices. Cosmetics and beauty products are an understudied source of environmental exposure to these ingredients, as the disclosure of chemical ingredients can be limited and inconsistent.

The Washington State Legislature has appropriated one-time funding for the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to:
• Investigate and identify cosmetic products marketed to, or used by, people of color, including adults and children.
• Test those cosmetic products for potentially harmful chemicals or chemical classes.

Beginning July 2022, Ecology will conduct a study to test a variety of cosmetic products used by, or marketed to, people of color for the presence of formaldehyde, lead, cadmium, and arsenic.

The mission of the Department of Ecology is to protect, preserve, and enhance Washington’s environment. To help us meet that goal, please consider the environment before you print or request a copy.

ADA Accessibility
The Department of Ecology is committed to providing people with disabilities access to information and services by meeting or exceeding the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Washington State Policy #188.
Visit Ecology’s website for more information.
Contact Prajwol Tuladhar at 360-407-6764 or
Keywords formaldehyde, QAPP, product testing, personal care products, toxics, metals, cosmetics
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