Beauty salon workers who paint the nails and treat the hair of millions of Californians are regularly exposed to toxic chemicals — and they may not know it, advocates say.
The advocates are asking California lawmakers to approve legislation requiring cosmetic companies to list the ingredients of beauty products used in professional salons. The bill, which passed the Assembly health committee Tuesday, will next be heard by the environmental safety committee.
Ingredient labels are now required on retail beauty products like makeup or shampoo, but federal law on labeling doesn’t apply to cosmetic products such as hair-straightening treatments or nail polishes used in salons.
In addition to requiring a list of ingredients on the salon product, the Assembly bill would require the label to flag any hazardous chemicals. The manufacturer would also be required to print its website address on the product and list its ingredients on the site.
“Nobody’s minding the store” when it comes to protecting the health of the workers who handle these products every day, said Nourbese Flint, policy director for Los Angeles-based Black Women for Wellness, an advocacy organization that is co-sponsoring the bill.