HEALTH CARE TASK FORCE
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03:29 PM -- Safe Cosmetics
Brittney Wilburn, the Women's Lobby, began her presentation on safe cosmetics and personal care products and distributed a handout to the committee (Attachment N). She said that many personal care products that are commonly used contain toxic chemicals, some of which have been linked to diseases such as breast cancer. She said that 100,000 synthetic chemicals have been produced and put on the market since World War II, and only 11 percent have been tested for safety. She described chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer. Ms. Wilburn listed several other chemicals that are found in products and said that people are constantly exposed to these types of chemicals. Ms. Wilburn said that the chemicals in personal care products are unregulated. She discussed the efforts her organization supports, including public education campaigns. She described recent legislation enacted in California and local efforts and interests in Colorado concerning safe personal care products. She highlighted 35 companies in Colorado that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, and how business for these environmentally friendly companies is growing. Ms. Wilburn described some options for legislation, including setting safe packaging standards, banning certain chemicals, and requiring warning labels for products that have chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects.
Senator Foster commended the speakers and expressed concern about regulation. She said that the information available on the internet can help consumers without having regulation. Jennifer Miles, the Women's Lobby, said that there has been an effort on public education, but that it takes a lot of effort for consumers to look for harmful ingredients and not all companies make information on ingredients regularly available. Ms. Miles described efforts at regulation and disclosure in the European Union. She said the industry wants to use the cheaper synthetic ingredients, and that, at a minimum, there needs to be better labeling. Representative Massey discussed labeling requirements. Senator Schwartz stated her support for labeling requirements, noting her belief that people need to be able to understand what they have a reaction to or what chemicals may make them ill. Representative Kerr discussed the need for public education about these issues. Ms. Miles agreed that more education needs to be done and noted that there is evidence that connects certain chemicals to breast cancer .
Senator Boyd adjourned the meeting.