Pending Regs

Dems petition FDA to ban potentially toxic chemical from shampoos, body wash

New York Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban a potentially cancer-causing chemical from consumer and children’s products, including shampoo, shower gels and lotions.

The Environmental Protection Agency has listed 1,4 Dioxane as a potentially dangerous chemical and in November named it one of the top 10 chemicals to evaluate after Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said the chemical is regularly used in everyday toiletry items that create suds like shampoos, shower gels, body washes, foaming hand soaps, bubble baths and lotion, but companies aren’t always required to list it on the product labels.

“The fact that 1,4 Dioxane, a potentially dangerous chemical, is hiding out in everyday products expected to make us clean is very disturbing, and to make matters worse, likely carcinogens like this one can be even more harmful to kids,” he said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Schumer and Gillibrand asked EPA to prioritize and accelerate the risk evaluation for 1,4-Dioxane after a study found that the chemical was more prevalent in Long Island’s water supply than anywhere else in the state. Now they want the FDA to issue a rulemaking to keep it out of the products that go down drains and end up in the nation’s water supply.

The lawmakers say companies should be required to use vacuum stripping technology to rid products of this dangerous toxin.

Tags Charles Schumer Kirsten Gillibrand

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