New York Times
February 15, 2007
By Natasha Singer
For decades, companies that make everything from after-shave to lip gloss have conducted safety testing on grooming products and shipped the cosmetics to stores to be sold to consumers, all with very little government involvement. And over the years, there have been few health or safety problems associated with the myriad grooming products and cosmetics on the market.
Nonetheless, momentum has been building for greater oversight of the chemicals in everyday products, with the European Union and California taking the lead in imposing new rules for monitoring what is in the perfumes, creams, nail polish and hair sprays that are sold.
The California Safe Cosmetics Act, which took effect on Jan. 1, requires cosmetics companies to tell state health authorities if a product contains any chemical on several government lists covering possible cancer-causing agents or substances that may harm the reproductive system.