Could Hair Straighteners Be Safer? California DTSC Wants To Talk About It
Use of formaldehyde, cyclosiloxanes, parabens, sodium hydroxide, diethanolamine, phthalates, benzophenone-3, and triclosan in hair-straightening products is open for discussion in California, with public comments sought by the Department of Toxic Substances Control through 9 July.
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The Department of Toxic Substances Control does not identify specific chemicals of concern in its 2021-2023 Priority Product Draft Work Plan, but says it is focusing on ingredients and endpoints associated with children, women of childbearing age, communities of color and aquatic impacts.
Internal FDA emails obtained by the Environmental Working Group through a FOIA request indicate that the agency was moving toward rulemaking in 2016 to restrict or prohibit use of formaldehyde in heated hair-straightening cosmetics, but seemingly abandoned the initiative. That has Congress, NGOs and other stakeholders asking questions and renewing calls for cosmetics regulatory reform.
Starting in 2025, use of selected preservatives, phthalates and other ingredients already banned in Europe will be prohibited in cosmetics sold in California.