Cosmetic packaging costs more than $100 million a year, according to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In addition to costs for materials, there are also health and safety risks involved with cosmetics.
“A number of studies have shown that cosmetics contain ingredients that are harmful to human health,” the USDA report said.
“We believe cosmetics contain harmful chemicals, and we are committed to finding out why these chemicals are in cosmetics.”
A lack of regulation has created a “dangerous environment for consumers,” according to the report, and the US is a leader in the world in the use of cosmetics in consumer products.
“The United States is one of only three countries in the developed world where cosmetics are not regulated, and consumers in the United Kingdom, France and Germany are the worst offenders,” said Jennifer Sorensen, a senior policy analyst at the Consumers Union.
“There are a number of consumer protection issues in cosmetics, and these could include the use and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients that have been shown to be unsafe,” Sorenesen said.
There are currently five types of cosmetics used in the US: skin care, hair care, body care, makeup and fragrance.
Each type of cosmetics is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and consumers can choose from a range of products that are certified organic, cruelty-free and non-toxic.”FDA regulations require that manufacturers have an environmental impact assessment before they can begin manufacturing products,” the report said, adding that some cosmetic companies have applied for waivers for certain products.
While cosmetics manufacturers claim that they are complying with regulations, many consumers are still not sure if their cosmetics are safe.
“Many people are concerned about their health when they purchase cosmetics because they are concerned that the cosmetics they buy may contain ingredients with known or suspected health risks,” the survey said.
Consumer groups are calling on the FDA to adopt a mandatory chemical testing system for cosmetics, as well as requiring cosmetics manufacturers to submit annual reports on ingredients and environmental effects to the FDA.
The report comes as a group of American manufacturers are set to launch a campaign to make cosmetics and hair products more environmentally friendly.