The U.S. may be heading to a more stringent style chemical regulation scheme after a bill passed in Connecticut in January requiring cosmetics to meet the European Union's stringent safety standards, according to the Guardian.
Thousands of potentially dangerous chemicals banned in the European Union are still found in American products as diverse as cheese, shampoo, and toothpaste, according to the Guardian.
The EU has banned or restricted close to 1,300 chemicals in cosmetic products, while the US has banned or restricted just 11.
“Many Americans are unaware that they are absorbing untested and unsafe chemicals in their products,” said Alex Bergstein, the state senator responsible for the Connecticut legislation.
The E.U. requires companies to prove a product is safe before it hits the shelves. In the U.S. a similar procedure is in place for new products, but the government is not responsible for reviewing products that were already in the market before safety regulations like the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act were enforced.
The EPA has banned six of the 40,000 chemicals currently in the market. The agency, however, has recently flagged 40 additional substances for review, including asbestos, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, a refrigerant chemical that can damage the nervous system and liver.