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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Jiménez

New Zealand Ban on Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetic Products

Enhancing Beauty Product Safety: New Zealand Bans PFAS: In a bold move towards beauty product safety, New Zealand has announced a total ban on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as "forever chemicals," in cosmetics by 2027. This initiative positions New Zealand as one of the first countries to take such stringent measures against these durable compounds, linked to various health issues such as cancer and infertility, and notorious for their resistance to environmental degradation.

New Zealand Pioneers in Banning Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics
New Zealand Pioneers in Banning Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics

A Precautionary Step Towards Public Health

Although PFAS are not a common component in cosmetic products, their presence in products such as nail polishes, shaving creams, and mascara has raised alarms in the scientific and regulatory community.

"We are taking a precautionary approach, limiting any potential risks these chemicals might pose,"

Explained Dr. Shaun Presow, Manager of Hazardous Substances Reassessments at New Zealand's EPA. The decision reflects a growing trend of regulations that preempt risks before they manifest broadly in the population or environment.

Cosmetic Industry and Transition Period

The cosmetic industry will need to adjust its formulations, as it has until December 31, 2026, to completely eliminate these chemicals from its products. This grace period aims to provide enough time for the transition to safer alternatives without affecting the commercial viability of the involved companies.

Global Context and International Comparisons

This measure is part of a series of updates to New Zealand's Cosmetic Products Group Standard, aimed at aligning national practices with global regulatory trends.

While some jurisdictions in the United States and the European Union are beginning to consider similar restrictions, New Zealand is ahead in the cosmetic field, setting a precedent that could inspire broader actions internationally. The ban on PFAS in cosmetics not only protects consumers but also sends a clear message about the importance of public health and environmental responsibility in the manufacturing of everyday consumer products.

With this action, New Zealand reinforces its reputation as a leader in implementing progressive health and environmental safety policies.

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