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The Use of 1,4-dioxane or Mercury in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products is Prohibited in New York State

from CIRS by


In December 2022, Hochul, governor of New York State, signed an amendment to the Environmental Protection Act (A8630A) to prohibit the use of 1,4-dioxane or mercury in cosmetics and personal care products. The bill will come into effect on June 1, 2023. From the effective date, cosmetics or personal care products containing 1,4-dioxane or mercury must not be sold in New York State.


From December 31, 2022, the trace requirements of 1,4-dioxane are as follows:

  • Household detergent should not exceed 2 parts per million (ppm);
  • Cosmetics should not exceed 10 ppm; and
  • Personal care products should not exceed 2 ppm.

From December 31, 2023, the trace limit of 1,4-dioxane will be reduced:

  • Household detergent must not exceed 1 ppm; and
  • Personal care products should not exceed 1 ppm.

If the manufacturer of cosmetics or personal care products can prove that measures have been taken to reduce the presence of 1,4-dioxane, but still cannot meet the required trace limit, the manufacturer can apply for a one-year exemption period for specific products.

1,4-dioxane is a class 2 substance classified by the European Union as a CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Reproductive toxicant), which is listed in the list of Act 65 (substances known to have carcinogenic or reproductive toxicity to the human body) by California. The content of 1,4-dioxane in cosmetics should be low enough to avoid cancer risk.


Mercury includes elemental mercury Hg, mercuric iodide, mercury oxide, mercurous chloride, ethyl mercury, phenyl mercuric salts, ammoniated mercury, amide chloride of mercury, mercury sulfide or cinnabaris, or mercury iodide. According to the information released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), mercury may appear in products that claim skin whitening or "anti-aging". Since 1973, FDA has banned the use of mercury as a skin whitening agent in cosmetics, and the content of mercury in most cosmetics is not allowed to exceed one millionth.

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