US states are moving to ban animal testing of cosmetics. Seven states now have bans: California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Maine & Hawaii. Four more states have introduced bills: New Jersey, New York, Oregon & Rhode Island.
These efforts are supported by industry, largely because they reflect current industry practice. In general, the cosmetic industry now avoids all animal testing unless required by a specific regulation.
The main battle ahead is to change the minds of regulators requiring these tests.
The states have similar language for their bans, often word for word. The key provisions in the bans are:
Every state ban includes the same exceptions to the ban. The following list shows the exceptions and their effect on the cosmetics we use.
Tests on invertebrate animals
Allows tests on the water flea, the invertebrate typically used in cosmetic tests for ecosystem effects. Affects many cosmetic ingredients, including all made in or imported into the EU in quantities over 1 ton/year.
Tests on sunscreen active ingredients
Allows tests on the 16 FDA-approved active sunscreen ingredients. Likely related to the FDA's proposed new sunscreen regulation requiring new safety data. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are less likely to be affected, because the FDA's proposal designates these as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).
Some tests for US/state regulations
Test is allowed only if all the following are true: A health problem is substantiated; the ingredient is widely used with no available substitute; no accepted non-animal alternative exists. Likely, few tests will qualify.
Tests for foreign regulations; the tests can't be used to assess cosmetic safety
Hard to estimate, but currently few ingredients are likely affected. A study of 65 cosmetic ingredients found that only five of the ingredients had tests for foreign regulations from 2009-2020. This will change if the EU upholds a recent ruling that allows ECHA, an EU regulatory agency, to require animal testing of cosmetic ingredients under its REACH program. If that happens, many cosmetic ingredients will be tested on animals.
Tests for a non-cosmetic purpose when the ingredient has non-cosmetic uses.
This affects most cosmetic ingredients, most of which have other uses, such as for household products.
A major difference in the language used by some states is significant:
Copyright © 2021 by White Rabbit Beauty LLC