Animal Testing for Retail Cosmetics

The Drake Institute of Research and Policy SUPPORTS House Bill 1898 which calls on the Minnesota House to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation to establish a public awareness campaign for the dangers of skin lightening cream.

This legislation is unique not only to Minnesota, but also to the country as a whole. The bill will give a grant program for the purpose of increasing public awareness of the use of skin lightening products. The commissioner will award grants to community-based organizations serving ethnic communities, public health entities, and nonprofit organizations focused on health care and public outreach to minorities. Due to pressures to adhere to Western standards of beauty, African American, Latina, and Asian women use products that are higher in chemicals than most beauty products, including skin lighteners. Minority groups are more likely to be affected by health issues 1 associated with toxic chemicals. For example, African-American women are 34% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women, and though this may be associated with other factors, these numbers may be the result of higher exposure to toxic chemicals.

Mercury also impacts wildlife during the disposal and production of skin lightening cream. When these products reach bodies of water, they are often ingested by a large variety of birds and fish. Just like with humans, mercury can severely impact the reproductive systems of these animals. Mercury can also impact smaller ends of the food chain, such as insects, which are then eventually consumed by larger creatures. Mercury products impact both the reproductive systems of humans and wildlife alike, and it is important to regulate their use. This bill will additionally allocate funding towards the education of the dangerous impacts of skin lighteners.

For these reasons, the Drake Institute of Research and Policy SUPPORTS House Bill 1898 and asks for a FAVORABLE report.

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