Change Is Coming, Much To The Chagrin Of The Cosmetic Industry
While most of the fashion world clamors over Michelle Obama’s dress options for the inaugural ball, members of the international beauty community are biting their manicured nails, watching closely for signs of costly regulatory changes to the environmental policy that could be a focus of Barack Obama’s new administration. As reported by Cosmetics Business this morning, the biggest concern for cosmetics giants comes over potential reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which gives the EPA authority to regulate certain chemicals. Currently, the act excludes the cosmetics industry, but any major change in the law could add cosmetics to the list of substances under review, which would mean increased environmental reporting and testing requirements for chemicals used in all personal care products. (As of right now, manufacturers are only required to test chemicals for human safety, not for risks to the environment). A mandatory registration for beauty companies with the FDA, which can cost up to $10,000, could also be on the table, as are amendments to the statute governing wildlife protection, which would require additional disclosures of imported plant seeds and might restrict materials commonly used in perfumes and cosmetics. Call it a forced “greening,” if you will; this kind of institutional progress could bring certain brands closer to fulfilling their promises of being truly eco-friendly.