History of the Personal Care Product Legislation
Did you know the last piece of major legislation in regards to the Personal Care industry was in 1938? And did you know it was instigated because a woman went blind from a mascara product? Let’s have a little history lesson….
Although the laws regulating personal care products in the U.S. are severely lacking, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of 1938 were both created due to pressure from outraged citizens like us.
- 1906: We see the start of the FDA as part of the Pure Food and Drug Act. This act was passed in part because of the outrage over the conditions of Chicago Stockyards detailed in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and about 100 bills over 25 years that aimed to reign in serious abuses in the consumer product market.
- 1933: A woman by the name of Mrs. Brown bought a product called Lash Lure. Over the course of a few months, her corneas started to deteriorate and she eventually went blind. In the same year, The FDA put together an exhibit nicknamed The Chamber of Horrors, showcasing food and personal products that had been preserved with toxic chemicals. The exhibit’s most famous visitor, Eleanor Roosevelt, was appalled by what she saw.
- 1937: Elixir Sulfamide came to market. Sulfamide was a commonly used pill that treated minor ailments. But in an effort to make it drinkable (taste good), the manufacturer added Diethylene Glycol. Also known as ANTI-FREEZE. The product was tested for shelf life, ease of shipping, and flavor. But it was NEVER TESTED FOR TOXICITY. Within 1 month, over 100 people died, most of them children. As you can imagine, mothers were desperate with grief, but also outraged.
- 1938: President Roosevelt is forced to pass the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. And for a bit, there were some great protective laws on the books.
But then, World War II occurred and with it, so did the chemical revolution. Since that time, over 85,000 chemicals have been introduced into commerce but less than 10% of these have been tested for safety on humans. Ingredients like mercury, coal tar, formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, allergens, and pollutants! We know just by looking at this list that these ingredients ARE NOT SAFE. But they are said to be “safe enough.”
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!? Safe enough for who?
Are you surprised by any of this? I think what upsets me the most is the lack of awareness. People assume our government is taking precautions to ensure our safety. But that’s not the case right now — so the best we can do is be educated, share this knowledge, and vote with our dollars to show that this is a subject that matters greatly to us!
Need help making product selections, choosing skincare for you or your family or picking a color that will work with your skin tone? I’m here to help you choose safer, even if that means non-Beautycounter products. I want to educate you about clean products.
Simply email me for 1:1 help anytime.
#SaferSkincare #CleanerCosmetics #BetterBeauty
#NoSecretsAdded #ThisMatters #Transparency