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Aiming to protect salon workers, California strengthens labeling requirements for professional cosmetics

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Photo: dimid_86/iStockphoto

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

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed AB 2275 into law Sept. 14. Previously, only retail cosmetics manufacturers were required to list product ingredients.

“Salon workers do not apply professional cosmetics only once or twice daily, but rather spend eight to 10 hours a day exposed to unlabeled chemicals, which are increasingly associated with reports of headaches, dizziness, rashes, and even linked to miscarriages, birth defects, cancers and respiratory illnesses,” Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), the bill’s sponsor, said in a press release from advocacy group Women’s Voices for the Earth. “AB 2775 provides salon workers with more ingredient transparency and increased awareness so they can make informed decisions about their use or avoidance of chemicals that may pose a workplace risk.”

Along with Women’s Voices for the Earth, the bill was co-sponsored by Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. Cosmetics manufacturers Beautycounter and Unilever also endorsed the legislation.

“Passing AB 2775 isn’t simply about listing ingredients – it’s about eliminating the barriers that prevent workers from having the information they need to avoid concerning ingredients, including carcinogens like formaldehyde or toluene, a neurological and developmental toxicant – many of which salon professionals repeatedly handle on a daily basis,” Jamie McConnell, director of programs and policy at Women’s Voices for the Earth, said in the release.

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

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