Potential Legislation: Animal Testing and Professional Cosmetics Labeling Requirements

California is at it again—potentially expanding federal law regarding cosmetic labeling and animal testing. Introduced on February 15, 2018, Assembly Bill 2775 and Senate Bill 1249 seek to expand federal law.  AB 2775, if enacted, would require “professional cosmetics” to be labeled in a manner similar to cosmetics intended to be sold to consumers. SB 1249, if enacted, would make it unlawful to sell cosmetics in California if the finished product or any component was tested on animals. 

Under current California law and federal law, an ingredient list must be readily viewable at the point of purchase on the outer package of any cosmetic sold to consumers.  There is not a similar requirement for cosmetics intended to be sold to professionals only.

If enacted in its current form, AB 2775, introduced by California Assembly Member Kalra, would require a professional cosmetic manufactured on or after July 1, 2020, for sale in California, to have a label affixed on the container that satisfies all of the labeling requirements for any other cosmetic sold to consumers as required under federal law.

The stated purpose of the bill is to make available information of the ingredients in professional salon products—“ensuring that workers and owners can make safer product choices and take steps to protect themselves and their customers against harmful exposures.”  It is stated in the Bill that the state of California has 312,000+ licensed cosmetologist, 129,000+ licensed manicurists, and almost 53,000 licensed salon businesses, many of which provide manicure services, and that most are of reproductive age and, therefore particularly “vulnerable to chemical exposures.”  Moreover, it is “estimated that as many as 59 to 80 percent of manicurists in California are Vietnamese immigrants, many with limited English skills.”

The bill defines “Professional” as “a person that has been granted a license by the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to practice in the field of cosmetology, nail care, barbering, or esthetics.”   “Professional cosmetic” is defined as a cosmetic “intended or marketed to be used only by a professional on account of a specific ingredient, increased concentration of an ingredient, or other quality that requires safe handling, or is otherwise used by a professional.”

SB 1249, introduced by California Senator Galgiani, would make it unlawful for any cosmetic manufacturer to knowingly import for profit, sell at retail, or offer for sale at retail in California, any cosmetic, if the final product or any component thereof was developed or manufactured using animal testing after January 1, 2020. The bill provides for a up to $500 for the first violation and up to $1,000 for each subsequent violation. Notably, the bill does not apply to a cosmetic, or any component of the cosmetic, tested on animals before January 1, 2020.

SB 1249 would expand existing California law that prohibits manufacturers and contract testing facilities located in California from using traditional animal testing methods when an appropriate alternative test method has been scientifically validated and recommended by the Inter­Agency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) or other specified agencies.

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