PISCATAWAY — You may be surprised to learn how little oversight there's been of products you may use every day, like shampoo, lotion, and toothpaste.

But that's changing in 2023, bit by bit, with a federal law signed late last year to protect consumers from dangerous cosmetics and personal care products.

"I think most people think that when they use any of these products, that they've been approved as safe, or that the representation about their use has been tested in some way ... and that was simply not true," U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, said during a press conference at Middlesex County's Cosmetology School in Piscataway.

Two pieces of the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act are already in effect. One allows the Food & Drug Administration to conduct safety reviews of cosmetics ingredients and order the recall of products associated with serious health events. The other "requires companies to substantiate the safety of their products," Pallone said.

These changes represent the first official regulation activity in the area of cosmetics in more than 80 years, Pallone said.

Among the other rules set to kick in:

  • Companies must register their manufacturing facilities and cosmetics ingredients list with the FDA
  • Companies must notify the FDA of any adverse events associated with their cosmetics within 15 days
  • Products that are not appropriate for all users must be labeled, including those that should only be administered by licensed professionals
  • The FDA must create regulations establishing methods for testing and identifying asbestos in talc-containing cosmetics products
  • The FDA must produce a report on the use of so-called forever chemicals (PFAS) in cosmetics products

"This landmark legislation will help protect consumers in a variety of ways by expanding FDA oversight over cosmetics," said Ronald Rios, director of the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners.

Rios said the new regulations will be incorporated into the county's vocational cosmetology program, so that every student who graduates is prepared to uphold the higher standards.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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