Call to reduce injuries caused by cosmetics

Date: Oct 29, 2014

Cosmetic products cause upwards of 30 per cent of all injury claims, and this has prompted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) into action.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard recently spoke to the Accord Conference in Sydney and described the way that the commission is planning to turn this statistic around.

Non-labelling issue

Ms Rickard explained that a recent surveillance effort focusing on cosmetic products found many have no ingredient labelling and where it is present, it isn’t commonly in English. This increases the risk of consumers using products that lead to allergies or the onset of other medical issues.

“Few other consumer products are directly applied to our bodies in the way cosmetics are. This means that people who make and supply cosmetic products need to be fully aware of their responsibilities,” she told the conference.

“Where we identify non-compliance with the cosmetics labelling standard, we will speak with the suppliers and enforcement action will be seriously contemplated.”

With more and more products entering Australia from overseas, it highlights the importance of manufacturers following best practice and ensuring the products are well labelled. If a consumer does become sick or unwell after using a particular cosmetic, then they could have a case for compensation.

Natural ingredient requirement

Ms Rickard indicated that even products high in natural ingredients need to be labelled properly.

“In cosmetics, recent trends such as more products with natural ingredients or products with fewer or natural preservatives must still be covered by effective quality assurance programs to prevent unsafe products from reaching the shelves,” she said.

This means that all products are safe and fit for purpose and single ingredients can be traced back if any complaints are received.

False claims

It is important to note that the ACCC is also stepping up its surveillance on claims made by cosmetic products. Manufacturers who state their product offers moral or social benefits or doesn’t contain particular items will come under more scrutiny and be asked to provide proof.

Often consumers will buy cosmetic products that claim they aren’t tested on animals or are formaldehyde free, for example. However, the ACCC will be investigating these claims closely to ensure they are correct.

“Companies should not claim products are of a particular quality or standard when they are not,” Ms Rickard stated.

Product liability in NSW

If you develop an illness or become sick because of a mislabeled cosmetic product, you could be eligible for compensation.

Injuries from products are more common than most people think, so if you believe you have a case, contact a compensation lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.