Oregon has joined a growing number of states to ban per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cosmetics and personal care products. The “Toxic-Free Cosmetics” bill that passed the state legislature this week prohibits all PFAS and seven other chemicals from cosmetic and personal care products sold in the state beginning in 2027.
Vermont, California, Colorado, and Maryland have passed similar PFAS prohibitions, and Washington, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Georgia have floated bans as well.
Green Seal last year prohibited all approximately 12,000 PFAS in certified cleaning and personal care products to protect people and the planet from the toxic “forever chemicals,” which can persist for hundreds of years in the environment, bioaccumulate in soil and in humans, and are linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and decreased immune response. While Green Seal has long prohibited long-chain PFAS that are formally classified as hazardous, our newer prohibition also encompasses short-chain PFAS, which are sometimes presented as safer substitutes even though growing evidence indicates they can have the same harmful health and environmental effects as long-chain PFAS.
It can be challenging for consumers and even manufacturers to be sure that products do not use PFAS. PFAS are often used in raw materials, and those proprietary formulas are often not fully disclosed to the final manufacturer. Eliminating PFAS from the supply chain is critical to keep these chemicals out of our products and drinking water and to prevent future harm.
It is encouraging to see more states addressing PFAS in consumer products. While state and federal regulations often lag behind the science, manufacturers and consumers can rely on Green Seal to stay abreast of emerging information and identify products that are safer and more sustainable.