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California bill on cosmetic-label ingredient listings aimed at protecting salon workers

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Sacramento, CA – California could become the first state to require professional cosmetics manufacturers to list ingredients – including hazardous chemicals – on their product labels.

Currently, only retail cosmetics manufacturers are required to list product ingredients.

The legislation, AB 1575, is intended to help protect salon professionals by providing them with information on the chemicals they are exposed to at work.

Assembly Member Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) introduced the bill, which is co-sponsored by California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Black Women for Wellness, Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE), and Women’s Voices for the Earth.

“Professional cosmetics are not only used once or twice a day on a regular consumer, salon workers spend eight to 10 hours a day exposed to unlabeled chemicals,” Kalra said. “Labeling professional cosmetics will allow consumers to make informed personal health decisions, workers to mitigate their risks and researchers to investigate the nature of products we currently cannot test.”

Salon workers can face health concerns ranging from breathing difficulties to increased risk for miscarriages and birth defects, Women’s Voices for the Earth stated.

“Salon professionals repeatedly handle solvents, polishes, straighteners and other beauty care products containing known carcinogens like formaldehyde or toluene, a neurological and a developmental toxicant,” Jamie McConnell, director of programs and policy at Women’s Voices for the Earth, said in a press release. “Salon workers need and deserve full transparency in the products they use while on the job in order to choose products that are safer for themselves and for their clients.”

California has nearly 53,000 licensed businesses that provide hair, nail and other beauty services, according to the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. The state also has more than 312,000 licensed cosmetologists and more than 129,000 licensed manicurists.

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