Skip to content

Shaheen and Hassan Help Introduce Bill to Ban PFAS Chemicals in Cosmetics

A recent study found high fluorine levels—indicating the probable presence of PFAS—in just over half of 231 makeup products tested 

(Washington, DC) –Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) helped introduce the?No PFAS in Cosmetics Act, which would ban the inclusion of PFAS chemicals in cosmetics products, such as makeup, moisturizer and perfume. The bipartisan bill is led by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and cosponsored by fellow Senators Angus King (I-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of man-made chemicals, which includes PFOA, PFOS and GenX. These chemicals can bioaccumulate in people over time and have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, liver damage, decreased fertility and hormone disruption. First developed in the 1940s, PFAS can be found in food packaging, nonstick pans, clothing, furniture and firefighting foam. 

“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,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m glad to be part of the bipartisan effort to ban these dangerous contaminants from makeup and other personal care products that are part of many Americans’ daily routines. I’ll continue to pursue every avenue available to protect Granite Staters and the American public from these hazardous chemicals.” 

“It is alarming that hazardous PFAS chemicals are found in the makeup that so many Granite Staters and Americans use every day, including mascaras and lipsticks,” said Senator Hassan. “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.” ? 

Specifically, the?No PFAS in Cosmetics Act?would direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a proposed rule banning the intentional addition of PFAS in cosmetics, as defined by the FDA, within 270 days of enactment, and require a final rule to be issued 90 days thereafter. 

Bill text of the legislation is available here. 

Senators?Shaheen and Hassan?lead efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects related to PFAS contamination, respond to the chemical exposure and remediate polluted sites. Just last week, the Senators announced new legislation to clean up PFAS at military installations with highest levels of contamination. Shaheen?has fought to secure – which Hassan supported – consistent federal support for the PFAS health impact study that she established four years ago. Because of their efforts, Pease is serving as a model site for the nationwide study. The study at Pease is actively seeking participants.  

In February, Shaheen reintroduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) to provide rural communities under economic strain during the COVID-19 pandemic with $1 billion in emergency assistance to repair, modernize and renovate failing water infrastructure. She has also championed legislation, the PFAS Testing and Treatment Act that Senator Hassan also cosponsored, which would provide substantial federal funding for PFAS remediation in drinking water, and groundwater, including private wells. In addition, Shaheen and Hassan joined a bipartisan group of Senators?in urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to allow state, tribal and local governments to use funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan to address contamination from PFAS, including in local water supplies. Last?month, Shaheen asked leaders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the agency’s efforts to address exposure to toxic PFAS chemicals in New Hampshire during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing. ? 

In April, both Shaheen and Hassan?joined their colleagues in passing the bipartisan?Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which?included amendments added by Senators Shaheen and Hassan to address contamination in drinking water supplies from PFAS and other contaminants. Senator Hassan recently joined a bipartisan group of 11 senators in calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set standards for PFAS found in bottled water to ensure that bottled water products are safe for drinking. In May, the bipartisan Comprehensive and Overdue Support for Troops (COST) of War Act of 2021 passed in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. It includes key pieces of Senator Hassan’s bipartisan bill, the Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Act, which addresses health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances.