19 June 2024
New Zealand Makeup to Ban Harmful Chemicals

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New Zealand will become one of the first countries to ban harmful “forever chemicals” from cosmetic products, environment watchdogs announced Wednesday. The move is aimed at protecting consumers from potentially toxic substances that can accumulate in the body and the environment. The ban will cover a range of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are used in a variety of products, including makeup, skincare, and hair care.

New Zealand’s Bold Move to Ban Harmful Makeup Chemicals



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Introduction:

New Zealand is poised to become a global leader in the fight against harmful chemicals in cosmetics. The country has announced plans to ban “forever chemicals,” also known as PFAS, from cosmetic products by 2027. This move is a significant step towards protecting public health and the environment from these persistent and potentially dangerous substances.

What are PFAS?

PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of synthetic chemicals used in various industrial and consumer products, including cosmetics, firefighting foams, and non-stick cookware. They are known for their ability to repel water, oil, and stains, making them desirable for a wide range of applications. However, PFAS have also raised concerns due to their persistence in the environment and potential health risks.

Why is New Zealand Banning PFAS in Cosmetics?

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of New Zealand has cited several reasons for the ban on PFAS in cosmetics.

1. Environmental Persistence:

PFAS are extremely resistant to degradation, meaning they can accumulate in the environment and persist for decades or even centuries. This poses a significant threat to ecosystems and wildlife.

2. Bioaccumulation:

PFAS can accumulate in living organisms, including humans. They can enter the body through skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion. Once in the body, PFAS can build up over time and potentially cause adverse health effects.

3. Health Risks:

Studies have linked PFAS exposure to various health concerns, including certain types of cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental issues. The EPA has expressed concern about the potential long-term health effects of PFAS accumulation in the body.

How will the Ban be Implemented?

The EPA has set a deadline of December 31, 2026, for the cosmetics industry to phase out the use of PFAS in their products. This will give manufacturers sufficient time to reformulate their products and find safer alternatives to PFAS.

The ban will cover a wide range of cosmetic products, including nail polish, shaving cream, foundation, lipstick, and mascara. Any products containing PFAS will be prohibited from being sold or distributed in New Zealand after the deadline.

Global Implications of the Ban

New Zealand’s decision to ban PFAS in cosmetics is a significant step that could have far-reaching implications. It sends a strong message to other countries and the cosmetics industry about the need to address the risks associated with PFAS.

The ban could also encourage other countries to follow suit and implement similar restrictions on PFAS in cosmetics. This would help reduce the global use of these harmful chemicals and protect public health and the environment worldwide.

Wrapping Up:

New Zealand’s bold move to ban PFAS in cosmetics is a commendable step towards safeguarding public health and the environment. By taking this action, the country sets an example for others to follow and contributes to a global effort to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in everyday products. As more countries adopt similar measures, we can work towards a future where cosmetics are free from substances that pose risks to our health and the planet.

FAQ’s

What are PFAS?

PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of synthetic chemicals used in various industrial and consumer products, including cosmetics, firefighting foams, and non-stick cookware. They are known for their ability to repel water, oil, and stains.

Why is New Zealand Banning PFAS in Cosmetics?

New Zealand is banning PFAS in cosmetics due to concerns about their environmental persistence, bioaccumulation, and potential health risks, including certain types of cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental issues.

How will the Ban be Implemented?

The ban will be implemented by setting a deadline of December 31, 2026, for the cosmetics industry to phase out the use of PFAS in their products. Any products containing PFAS will be prohibited from being sold or distributed in New Zealand after the deadline.

Global Implications of the Ban

New Zealand’s decision to ban PFAS in cosmetics could have far-reaching implications, encouraging other countries to follow suit and implement similar restrictions on PFAS in cosmetics. This could help reduce the global use of these harmful chemicals and protect public health and the environment worldwide.

Wrapping Up:

New Zealand’s bold move to ban PFAS in cosmetics sets an example for others to follow, contributing to a global effort to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in everyday products. As more countries adopt similar measures, we can work towards a future where cosmetics are free from substances that pose risks to our health and the planet.

Links to additional Resources:

www.nzherald.co.nz www.beehive.govt.nz www.mfe.govt.nz

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Cosmetics industry

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS or PFASs) are a group of synthetic organofluorine chemical compounds that have multiple fluorine atoms attached to an alkyl chain. An early definition, from 2011, required that they contain at least one perfluoroalkyl moiety, –CnF2n+1–. Beginning in 2021, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development...
Read more: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

Environment Protection Authority (Victoria)
The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is Victoria’s environmental regulator. EPA is an independent statutory authority, established in 1971 under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act). EPA's role is to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of pollution and waste on Victorians and their environment.
Read more: Environment Protection Authority (Victoria)

Cosmetic industry
The cosmetic industry describes the industry that manufactures and distributes cosmetic products. These include colour cosmetics, like foundation and mascara, skincare such as moisturisers and cleansers, haircare such as shampoos, conditioners and hair colours, and toiletries such as bubble bath and soap. The manufacturing industry is dominated by a small...
Read more: Cosmetic industry

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