California Prohibits 24 Hazardous Chemicals in Cosmetics

As the first state in the United States to do so, California has prohibited as of 2025 the manufacture and sale of cosmetics that contain certain hazardous chemicals. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the new law (AB 2762) on September 30.

The ban covers the following chemicals and chemical groups, all of which are already prohibited in the EU: 

  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) 
  • Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) 
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Paraformaldehyde 
  • Methylene glycol 
  • Quaternium-15 
  • Mercury 
  • Isobutylparaben 
  • Isopropylparaben 
  • M-phenylenediamine and its salts 
  • O-phenylenediamine and its salts 
  • Thirteen long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and their salts

California acted as the forerunner in the United States. In particular, children and pregnant women are harmed and require protection from hazardous chemicals, says Gavin Newsom in the related press release.

At the same time, he signed the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020 (SB 312). The law obligates the manufacturers of cosmetics to name the fragrances and 
flavors used in their products on the labels as of January 2022.

Although industry also supports the law, it vehemently denied the accusation that fragrances in cosmetics are unsafe.

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