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The Obama effect ... on cosmetics

It's the new prez's first day, and, of course, there's a lot of speculation about how his administration will tweak policies affecting the natural products industry. For instance, how will the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) fare? But here's something else to consider: A potential shift toward eco-friendlier industry could mean revamping the 33-year old Toxic Substances Control Act, which allows the EPA to regulate certain chemicals based on their risk to the environment. Currently, cosmetics manufacturers are required only to test substances for human safety -- not their environmental risks. Understandably, the cosmetics industry is leery of such a change because it could mean huge R&D cost increases. But in an industry notorious for its lack of oversight (the buzzword of winter 08/09), a shift toward regulating the environmental safety of cosmetic additives could only increase the overall healthfulness of products we use everyday.

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