Governor Brown signs bill co-sponsored by Black Women for Wellness

Los Angeles, CA—September 18, 2018—Governor Brown signed into law a groundbreaking bill that requires manufacturers to disclose ingredients on the labels of professional cosmetics. The bill was co-sponsored by Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaboration and Women’s Voices for the Earth.

The bill, AB 2775, was introduced by Assembly Member Ash Karla (D-San Jose) earlier this year. Before AB 2775, only retail cosmetics manufacturers were required to list product ingredients, leaving professionals vulnerable to the ingredients of professional cosmetics that are linked to health concerns such as birth defects, cancer and respiratory issues. AB 2775 is the first law of its kind to take effect in the nation.

“I’m excited that we are one step closer in protecting salon workers and their customers from harmful chemicals found in beauty products,” said Nourbese Flint, Policy Director at Black Women for Wellness. “Unlike consumers at the store who can read the label to know what a product contains; salon workers weren’t able to do so. Now they are able to take control of their health. It’s an important step while we continue the fight to ban harmful, toxic chemicals from professional grade and consumer products.”

Black women spend $7.6 billion annually on cosmetic products, 51% more than the national average, and more than 80,000 black women in California work as hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists—leaving a large number of black women vulnerable to exposure to harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, ethanolamine and calcium hydroxide. “Black women, particularly black beauty professionals are over exposed and under protected from chemical exposures,” said Janette Robinson-Flint, Executive Director at Black Women for Wellness. “The cancers we experience are much more aggressive and we are sadly more likely to die because of those cancers. Our immune systems are compromised by the chemical onslaught from early ages due to beauty routines.”

Environmental Researcher and Policy Manager at Black Women for Wellness, Marissa Chan, believes the new bill will help professionals in the beauty industry understand the complexity and harmful nature of some of the products they are exposed to. “AB2775 does more than list ingredients on the labels of professional salon products,” Chan said. “AB2775 allows them to make informed decisions about their health and the health of their customers.”

“Black Women for Wellness is delighted that this policy is signed,” Robinson-Flint said. “We know that all black women are not able to and should not be required to shop our way out of exposures to toxic chemicals—our representatives should be able to hold the manufactures of beauty products accountable for caring less about their consumers and more for the profit.”

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Gloria Coulanges

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