Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that will require cosmetics manufacturers to disclose which of their products contain chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive harm, or developmental toxicity.

The California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005 will require manufacturers to disclose to the Department of Health Services (DHS) ingredients in their products known by the state to cause cancer or birth defects. Manufacturers will also be required to divulge hidden, harmful ingredients in fragrances. It will also allow the DHS to investigate the health impacts of those chemicals and authorize CalOSHA to regulate the products to protect salon workers if they determine a safety risk.

In its original proposal, author Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) had suggested prohibiting certain phthalates from cosmetic formulations, but the proposal was withdrawn during the legislative process. Phthalates are chemicals found in a range of items, including toys and pharmaceutical products. They help nail polish spread easily and allow creams and lotions to go on smoothly. However, professional beauty industry figures, including Doug Schoon, vice president of science and technology for Creative Nail Design, say the amount of phthalates found in nail products is too small to pose a threat to either nail techs or their clients.

More than 20 California cosmetics manufacturers supported the bill. Two-hundred companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to replace hazardous ingredients with safer alternatives within three years, circulated by the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

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