When a drug company develops a new medicine, consumers can be confident that it has undergone a rigorous review process by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure its safety.  

Likewise, the FDA plays a vital role in upholding U. S. food security standards and has the authority to remove dangerous products from store shelves.    

But there is one gaping hole in FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION oversight: this currently lacks the expert to oversee the personal care products Americans use every day, products like shampoo, deodorant, cosmetics and skin lotion.    

Congress has a chance to fix that by including the Personal Care Products Safety Act in the upcoming continuing resolution to fund the government, which is expected in order to also include legislation to reauthorize FDA user fee programs, which will expire soon.    

Today, companies selling personal care products to Americans aren’t required in order to test their products for safety before selling them. Likewise, the particular FDA does not have the specialist to mandate recalls with regard to dangerous personal care items.    

I first introduced the bipartisan Individual Care Products Safety Act in 2015 with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and over the years we have gathered a wide swath of support from large companies, small businesses, health experts plus consumer advocacy groups. FDA itself last year called on “ Congress to modernize the particular outdated regulatory framework ” for personal care products.    

The reason we need this bill is clear: Congress hasn’t reformed protection laws governing personal maintenance systems since a 1938 law established its power in order to regulate these products. Despite a dramatic expansion and advancement of the personal care product industry, the FDA is forced to rely on the law designed for items on the particular market 80 years ago.    

A number of incidents over the years illustrate FDA’s limitations.    

In 2019, the agency found asbestos – a known carcinogen – in children’s makeup sold at a popular chain shop . Lacking the ability to remove the products from store shelves after the company refused to do so voluntarily, the FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION could only offer a warning in order to consumers to avoid the particular dangerous items. It was only after public outcry that the company finally stopped selling the products.  

Such lax safety standards aren’t acceptable for other products under FDA’s jurisdiction, including food and drugs, plus they’re not acceptable regarding products used daily by every adult and child in the particular country.  

Shockingly, hazardous ingredients are all too commonly found within personal treatment products.    

For example , most hair smoothing or straightening products release formaldehyde gas, the known carcinogen. Formaldehyde exposure can cause short- and long-term wellness problems, which includes eye irritation and problems with the nervous system and respiratory tract.    

Similarly, certain preservatives found in personal care products such as parabens have been linked to diminished fertility, lowered thyroid levels plus reproductive issues.    

Under the particular Personal Care Products Security Act, the FDA would be able to issue regulations outlining good manufacturing practices to ensure products are safe and would receive the authority to remove dangerous items from shelves. The bill would also require manufacturers to register with FDA, so that the agency knows where these products are coming from.    

Improving FDA’s oversight of personal care products is also important to addressing maternal plus racial health inequities.    

For instance , studies have shown that will women have got higher exposure to harmful chemicals called phthalates , often found in personal care products, than men. These phthalates have been found in order to transfer from mother to fetus during pregnancy, potentially harming fetal development. Similarly, Black and Latino women  possess higher contact with certain phthalates compared in order to white women.  

While some states have enacted safety laws governing individual maintenance systems, many others have taken no action, leaving millions of Americans exposed to dangerous chemical substances every day while just washing their own hair or even putting upon deodorant. This law would put in place strong safety requirements nationwide.    

It has been more than 80 years since Congress passed a law to strengthen FDA’s ability to protect consumers from dangerous personal care products, and it’s time to update those regulations intended for the 21 st century. Congress needs in order to pass this particular bill now.    

Dianne Feinstein will be the senior senator through California.  

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