June 1, 2017
Assemblymember Ash Kalra
State Capitol, Rm 5160
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249
Attn: Liza Chu
RE: AB 1575 (Kalra)– SUPPORT
Dear Assemblymember Kalra:
On behalf of OCA-Greater Los Angeles, I write to express my strong support for AB 1575. The bill will require manufacturers to list ingredients on the labels of professional cosmetics and make information on the potential health effects of ingredients more accessible. In addition, the bill will increase penalties for failure to comply with the law and provide for state agencies to recoup the cost when pursuing actions against violators.
OCA-GLA is the local chapter of OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. From its inception in 1991, OCA-GLA has made an impact in the greater Los Angeles area through community service, advocacy and organizing, education, and leadership development. We believe this bill is essential to promoting greater transparency and improved health for the workforce in the nail salon industry across California.
In California there are approximately 52,000 businesses licensed by the BBC to provide nail, hair, barber, and other beauty services. There are almost 129,000 licensed manicurists in the state; over 312,500 cosmetologists are licensed to provide nail and hair services.
On a daily basis, for long hours, nail and hair salon professionals handle solvents, glues, polishes, straighteners, and other beauty care products containing a multitude of chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, allergies, respiratory, neurological and reproductive harm. Salon workers absorb chemicals through their skin and breathe them in as fumes build up in the air of the salon over the course of the workday. Research shows that salon workers are at greater risk for certain health problems compared to other occupations.
Products marketed to and used by beauty professionals, many of whom are women of color, are unlabeled, under-regulated, and often unhealthy. Currently, manufacturers must list ingredients on the labels of cosmetics sold at the retail level (like a Target or Walgreen’s store)—this is good for the people who sell, buy, and use those products. In contrast, chemical ingredients in professional cosmetics do not have to be listed on product labels.
This lack of transparency hampers beauty professionals’ ability to make informed choices about the products they use and how to protect their health. It also obstructs their ability to inform customers about ingredients used in these products.
Beauty professionals in the state have the right to know what chemicals they are being exposed to. Thank you for authoring this important bill.
OCA-Greater Los Angeles
June 1, 2017: AB 1575 passed the Full Assembly