New Zealand has taken a decisive stance against per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), widely known as “forever chemicals,” by prohibiting their use in cosmetic products(Make up ).
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) announced this significant ban on Tuesday, marking a pivotal moment in environmental and public health protection.
The ban, set to be effective from December 31, 2026, positions New Zealand among the first countries globally to address the use of PFAS in cosmetics.
These chemicals, notorious for their non-degradability and suspected adverse impacts on human health, have found applications in various cosmetic products, including nail polish, shaving cream, foundation, lipstick, and mascara.
PFAS are often added to enhance the durability, spreadability, and water-resistant properties of these cosmetic items.
Shaun Presow, the hazardous substances reassessment manager at the Environmental Protection Authority, highlighted that while international research indicates PFAS are found in only a few products, New Zealand adopts a precautionary approach due to the potential risks associated with these chemicals.
Presow emphasized the persistence of PFAS in the environment, their tendency to accumulate in the human body, and the potential toxicity at high levels.
The decision to ban PFAS in cosmetics aligns with New Zealand’s broader strategy to address the risks posed by these chemicals.
The country is actively phasing out PFAS-containing fire-fighting foams and conducting extensive testing for background levels of PFAS in the environment.