US Regulatory Issues – California and Beyond
18 November 14:30 – 14:45 in the Source Program
Monday, 09 November 2015 – Microbeads Update: An Unforeseen Issue
For many years, industry marketed “Apricot Scrubs” containing ground walnut shells to perform physical exfoliation for the skin. These products especially appealed to the “natural” products market, but tended to be difficult to make, and the ground shells often were contaminated with mold or bacteria, and needed special handling to assure a safe product resulted.
Along came Microbeads, small plastic particles of various diameters, which were more elegant, easier and safer to use. Problem solved. Who would have predicted what was next?
Then came an article in January 2014 in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Microbeads a major problem in LA River” http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-0126-microbeads-20140126-story.html, which prompted a study and identification of microbeads in the Great Lakes. It has not been determined precisely if they are indeed coming from Cosmetics/personal care products. However, cosmetics were easy to target since they are perceived to be frivolous products.
Interestingly, California was not the first area to legislate their removal. Illinois, bordering the Great Lakes, passed legislation, working closely with the Industry through the Personal Care Products Council, negotiating a reasonable timeline for all concerned. The immediate problem of a short-term ban was abated
The supply chain of new regulations continues to move downstream. The most impactful legislation now is Erie County, NY which has now enacted a law which specifies a sales ban of products containing microbeads, effective February 14, 2016. Product must be removed from retail shelves and other consumer distribution channels by that date. In case a company is planning to move the product they can no longer sell in Buffalo, they should not consider shipping it to Canada, as that country is already working on their own ban under their environmental law. Legislation in other counties could potentially shorten the time from to January 1, 2016. Legislation continues to be generated at the State, County, and even City levels. It is important for companies to know where product is being distributed to avoid inadvertently incurring fines and penalties, as well as the retailers’ wrath.
Not enough fun yet? Now environmentalists are targeting microfibers, such as those found in cleaning wipes. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/10/plastic-fibers-great-lakes_n_6448354.html
To learn more about this issue, come hear Janet Winter Blaschke, CEO, International Cosmetics & Regulatory Specialists, LLC USA and International Cosmetics & Chemical Services, Ltd. UK speak on November 18, 2015 from 14:30 to 14:45 in the Source Programme. Or visit them at the show at Booth 507.
International Cosmetics is the industry leader in providing expertise in regulatory compliance needs for the Cosmetic and Chemical Industries. We help manufacturers, distributors and marketers worldwide in the areas of Regulatory Affairs, International Product Representation, Product Registration, and International Labeling Compliance. With offices in the United States and the United Kingdom, we have global expertise and reach!