How Safe Are Your Cosmetics? Products Containing Toxic Chemicals Sold As Beauty-Care Items
The cosmetic market in India is booming because of the increasing demand for varied personal care products among the youth. But these particular sectors are simply operating without much safety and regulations, thereby giving way to various concerns among public health advocates. In the present situation, most of the personal care products like hair care products, skincare products, fragrances, bathing products etc come under the regulation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, and they are not at all adequate as per some of the industry experts.
Towards the end of the year 2018, the health ministry had given a regulatory framework for the cosmetic products known as “Cosmetic Rules 2018” but it remains unattainable. There are large numbers of cosmetic product that contains several toxic chemicals and are sold in the market without any regulations.
The new regulations that were proposed under the D&C Act contain about 169 sections but only seven of them are for cosmetic products. Due to the absence of any regulations for the cosmetics, safety wholly depends on the carefulness of the manufacturers as well as cosmetic importers. All the cosmetic products that are either manufactured or imported for being sold in India should be registered either with the state or the central licensing authority.
However, this cosmetic registration process in India is not flawless. As proper regulations are absent, there are several products, some of which are highly hazardous being sold in the market. For example, certain beauty products like artificial nails, hair straightening products, artificial eyelashes do not come under the regulations and are sold without any efficient oversight.
What is going wrong?
There is a lack of specific provision under the existing act for approving the personal care items. Still there are so many different products where permission is given based only on the product name and the details of composition and the ingredients are not checked.
For example, some harmful chemicals like phenol and trichloroacetic are found in many beauty products. These ingredients show high efficiency in treating scars but long term use of these products may lead to several health hazards.
The major aspect lacking in the existing regulations is the absence of evaluation of the ingredients while cosmetic product registration in India. The final product is given the license without the composition being mentioned on the approval certificate. Due to this, most of the unscrupulous substances manage to escape without going through any action.
Similarly, as a step to curb the use of toxic ingredients in cosmetics, the Indian government banned the use of hydroquinone in creams for decreasing skin pigmentation. Long term use of this product often leads to several health hazards.
Cosmetics product will soon have to meet strict safety norms for manufacture and import!
Owing to the safety of all consumers, new draft regulations will propose some strict measures to make sure that cosmetics are safe for general use. All companies who are launching new products should submit safety data to the concerned department for obtaining approvals.
There will be provisions for inspecting the manufacturing units, product sampling as well as confiscations if there are any violations.
The companies will also keep details of the product batches as well as the raw materials for three years. All the manufacturers will have to follow some strict labelling regulations and avoid making any false claims. Especially regarding the cosmetic registration in India and import of other cosmetic products.
So, as per the existing scenario, strict norms and regulations should be framed for the safety of consumers by the respective authorities concerned.