Two major cosmetic companies will omit harmful chemicals from products

Revlon Inc. and L’Oreal USA have pledged to follow the European Union’s relatively strict new anti-toxics rule in formulating their perfumes, hair dyes, makeup, and other products for sale in the U.S. The two companies were convinced to take the step by San Francisco’s Breast Cancer Fund, which wants to shield Americans from a noxious soup of chemicals — suspected of causing cancer, infertility, and birth defects — commonly found in products applied directly to bare skin and scalps. The U.S. cosmetic sector is governed by an industry-financed review board, and the FDA’s safety standards banning the use of nine ingredients pale in comparison to the E.U.’s new rule, which prohibits hundreds of known and probable carcinogens and other hazardous chemicals from beauty products.