New Zealand Becomes the First Country to Ban ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Cosmetics

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On February 1, 2023, the New Zealand government announced a ban on the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cosmetics. This ban came into effect on July 1, 2023, making New Zealand the first country in the world to take this step.

The decision to ban PFAS in cosmetics was driven by concerns over the potential health risks associated with these chemicals. PFAS are a class of man-made chemicals that have been used in a wide range of products, including cosmetics, food packaging, and firefighting foams. Studies have linked exposure to PFAS with a range of health problems, including cancer, thyroid disease, and reproductive issues.

The New Zealand government’s ban on PFAS in cosmetics is part of a broader effort to reduce the use of these chemicals in the country. In addition to the cosmetics ban, the government has also taken steps to phase out the use of PFAS in food packaging and has proposed a ban on the use of these chemicals in firefighting foams.

The ban on PFAS in cosmetics in New Zealand is expected to have a significant impact on the cosmetics industry in the country. Manufacturers will need to find alternative ingredients to replace PFAS in their products, which may lead to changes in the formulation and performance of some cosmetics. However, the move is also expected to increase consumer confidence in the safety of cosmetics and may lead to other countries following suit in banning these chemicals in cosmetics.

Overall, the ban on PFAS in cosmetics in New Zealand is a significant milestone in the efforts to protect public health and the environment from the harmful effects of these chemicals. It sets an example for other countries to follow and is likely to lead to further actions to reduce the use of PFAS in a wide range of products.

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