About Us

A Centennial History of the Personal Care Products Council

Regulatory and Legislative Battles of the 1980s

The long-running effort by CTFA to permanently list color additives provisionally listed under the 1960 Color Additive Amendments continued into the 1980s.

After completing two rounds of tests in the 1960s and 1970s, the industry was ordered by FDA to run a third round of tests in 1977. These tests were financed through voluntary contributions of member companies.

In March 1983, CTFA President Ed Kavanaugh met with FDA Commissioner Hayes and convinced the agency not to delist three very important color additives. CTFA then set out to establish the safety of several provisionally listed color additives. It also urged FDA to adopt a "de minimis" standard, whereby FDA could approve color additives that had a minimal cancer risk.

Consumer groups filed two major lawsuits against FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), urging the ban of provisionally listed color additives. Afterward, HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler stated that she favored a de minimis standard, leaving it up to the Secretary's discretion to permit products to remain on the market or to be approved for use if the risk was insignificant.

Subsequently, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in 1987 "with some reluctance" that FDA did not have the authority to apply the de minimis policy, thereby mandating a strict interpretation of the Delaney anti-cancer clause.

CTFA worked to develop additional data to support petitions for the use of new colors as well as for additional uses of previously listed colors.

Proposition 65

In November 1986, California voters approved Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The legislation -required manufacturers to prove that ingredients in their products posed no significant risk of causing cancer or reproductive toxicity. If not, manufacturers would be required to include a warning label on any product containing an ingredient "known to the state" to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

CTFA responded to this initiative on a number of fronts. First, it petitioned the state to exempt cosmetics from the statute, on the ground that cosmetics are comprehensively regulated by FDA. It also met with state officials and testified at various hearings in an effort to convince the state to adopt acceptable "no significant risk" levels for several chemicals of interest to the industry.

In addition, CTFA attempted to convince both FDA and Congress that this law undermined the federal regulatory scheme.

CTFA was able to obtain an exemption from the cancer warning requirements for cosmetics that were in compliance with applicable federal and state administrative standards. This exemption lasted until December 1993.

With the subsequent appearance of Proposition-65 legislation in other states, the focus of the Association's legislative battles increasingly shifted to the states.

Congressional Hearings

In July and September 1988, hearings held by Oregon Congressman Ron Wyden ushered in a new round of charges concerning cosmetic safety and inadequate federal regulation.

Specifically, the Wyden legislation (which was drafted but never actually introduced) included a pre-market testing requirement; increased FDA access to safety and consumer complaint data; mandatory registration of manufacturing establishments, products, and ingredients; and mandatory ingredient listing for professional products.

CTFA's response was essentially the same as it had been during the Eagleton hearings, almost 15 years earlier. CTFA again built its arguments around three major points: (1) cosmetics are safe; (2) the industry's voluntary programs work; and (3) FDA has existing and adequate authority to act if deemed necessary.

In response to the Wyden -hearings, CTFA launched three initiatives: (1) a voluntary ingredient labeling program for cosmetic products sold exclusively in salons; (2) an effort to increase industry participation in the Voluntary Reporting Program; and (3) the preparation of a report listing the status of approximately 1,000 -chemicals alleged to be toxic

Environmental Issues

As the 1980s drew to a close, environmental matters began to occupy a growing portion of the CTFA staff's time on legislative, regulatory and scientific fronts.

CTFA faced various attempts to restrict the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of personal care products in an effort to reduce emissions from consumer and commercial products.

Californiabecame the pioneer regulator in this area. The state placed restrictions on certain categories of products and set future VOC limits that placed certain products t serious risk in coming years. With many other states considering adopting regulations similar to California's, CTFA worked to persuade these states to defer legislating VOC limits until after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted standards for these products.

CTFA negotiated intensely with a number of states to ensure that their VOC regulations did not unreasonably limit the formulation of personal care products and did not subject manufacturers to inconsistent limits in different states.

CTFA also began to focus on environmental packaging and claims issues before state legislatures. Several states enacted regulations or statutes designed to reduce packaging, encourage reuse or incorporate recycled content into packaging.

CTFA generally opposed legislative proposals mandating certain percentages of recycled content in packaging by certain dates. Rather, CTFA endorsed an integrated waste management approach.

In addition, the industry made a significant investment in testing the safety of packaging with recycled material; changing to different types of plastics; and reducing the amount of packaging for finished products.

Look Good...Feel Better

The Look Good ... Feel Better(LGFB) program,funded by the industry through the CTFA Foundation, helps women cancer patients overcome the appearance-related side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation, thereby helping to improve their self-esteem.

Launched nationally in 1989, this CTFA partnership with the American Cancer Society and the National Cosmetology Association is now available in all 50 states as well as several countries. In the early 1990s approximately 26,000 women participated in the program annually. In 1998, the program served 35,000 women.

The elements of the program include patient education services provided by certified volunteer cosmetologists and beauty advisors; complimentary make-up kits with products donated by CTFA members; and companion materials, including a patient video and a workbook.

In the early 1990s, the Foundation produced radio, television and print public service announcements (PSAs), which reached millions and helped increase awareness of LGFB.

The Foundation launched its Spanish-language LGFB program in 1991, reaching Hispanic communities in several areas. Selected program materials were also translated into Spanish.

In 1993, the CTFA Foundation introduced a LGFB scarf designed by Oscar de la Renta. All net proceeds from sales of the scarf were earmarked for LGFB and women's cancer research. Promotional campaigns for the scarf helped to increase recognition of LGFB by both the media and consumers.

By 1994, the program received several prestigious national awards and continued to be adopted internationally.

In 1999, LGFB celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a nationwide tour, "On the Road with Look Good...Feel Better."