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The Data Chasm in Cosmetics Safety: Brazilian Blowout and beyond

The Data Chasm in Cosmetics Safety: Brazilian Blowout and beyond

The Pump Handle

April 11, 2012

Elizabeth Grossman

While the US Supreme Court was debating the Affordable Care Act, the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee held a hearing to examine the current federal oversight of cosmetics and personal care product safety. The hearing revealed that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency that oversees the more than eight billion such products now sold annually in the US, knows astonishingly little about these products’ ingredients. This data gap – perhaps better described as a data chasm – is compounded by the inadequacy of current Material Safety Data Sheets, and leaves US workers and consumers without sufficient information about how these products may affect their health.

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