U.S. Sen. Susan Collins introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban the use of PFAS chemicals in cosmetic products such as makeup, moisturizer and perfume.

The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act, which the Republican senator introduced along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., would direct the Food and Drug Administration to issue a proposed rule banning the intentional addition of PFAS to cosmetics within 270 days of enactment and require a final rule be issued 90 days thereafter.

Co-sponsors include Sens. Angus King; I-Maine, Diane Feinstein, D-Calif.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of man-made chemicals which include PFOA, PFOS and GenX. The chemicals are sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals” and can accumulate in bodies over time. They have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, liver damage, decreased fertility and hormone disruption.

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

“Unfortunately, Maine has experienced considerable PFAS contamination, which has not only threatened our water supply, but adversely affected the livelihoods of farmers. In addition to these agricultural and water supply contaminations, we now also know that PFAS appear in products across the spectrum – including cosmetics,” Collins said in a news release. “Americans should be able to trust that the products they are applying to their hair or skin are safe. To help protect people from further exposure to PFAS, our bill would require the FDA to ban the addition of PFAS to cosmetics products.”

Maine has been among the most active states on PFAS issues, in part because of growing concerns about contamination in treated municipal sludge, septic sewage and paper mill waste as fertilizer on farm fields. Gov. Janet Mills has dedicated $40 million in a supplemental budget proposal the Maine Legislature is expected to act on this week aimed at cleaning up PFAS from farmland.

That funding includes $15 million to help farmers harmed by the chemicals, $15 million to provide safe drinking water, $5 million for environmental testing, and $5 million for managing PFAS-contaminated waste.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: