There’s a new episode of Persistent and Pervasive: Feminists Take on Toxics podcast available now! Hosted by former WVE board member, Sally Edwards, and Anna Mason, dive into the latest episode now – The Beast in Beauty: Toxic Chemicals in Hair Straighteners.
Many hair care products marketed particularly to Black women and girls contain chemicals that are endocrine disruptors and thus may interfere with the body’s hormone system. Some of these chemicals are also known to cause asthma or cancer. In this episode, the podcast explores the chemical and cultural issues around Black hair care and interview scientists and activists who are working to ensure that safer products are available.
Have a listen and then take action!
Solutions for Safer Cosmetics
To address the use of harmful chemicals in products like hair straighteners and all personal care/cosmetics, four new bills have been introduced in Congress.
- Toxic Free Beauty Act (HR 5537): Bans 11 of the most toxic chemicals on the planet from beauty and personal care products sold in the U.S., including mercury; 4 types of formaldehyde (plus Quaternium-15, Paraformaldehyde, Methylene Glycol); m-phenylenediamine and o-phenylenediamine; Diethylhexyl phthalate; Dibutyl phthalate; Isobutylparaben and Isopropylparaben and the entire class of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
- Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act (HR 5538): Requires disclosure of toxic fragrance and flavor chemicals and allergens in our personal care products
- Cosmetic Safety for Communities of Color and Professional Salon Workers Act (HR 5540): Creates cosmetic safety protections for women of color and professional hair, nail and beauty salon workers
- The Cosmetic Supply Chain Transparency Act (H.R. 5539): Forces supply chain transparency so that cosmetic companies can get the information they need from upstream suppliers to be able to make safer products.
These bills won’t pass unless we raise our voice. Please take action TODAY and tell your congressional representative to support these importance pieces of legislation. No matter our income level, the color of our skin, or where we live, we all deserve access to safe products. Tell Congress to act today!