senate Bill S8291

2021-2022 Legislative Session

Prohibits cosmetic products and personal care products that contain mercury

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Current Bill Status - In Senate Committee Environmental Conservation Committee

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

Your Voice

do you support this bill?

Please enter your contact information

Home address is used to determine the senate district in which you reside. Your support or opposition to this bill is then shared immediately with the senator who represents you.

Optional services from the NY State Senate:

Create an account. An account allows you to officially support or oppose key legislation, sign petitions with a single click, and follow issues, committees, and bills that matter to you. When you create an account, you agree to this platform's terms of participation.

Include a custom message for your Senator? (Optional)

Enter a message to your senator. Many New Yorkers use this to share the reasoning behind their support or opposition to the bill. Others might share a personal anecdote about how the bill would affect them or people they care about.


view actions (1)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Feb 09, 2022 referred to environmental conservation


S8291 (ACTIVE) - Details

Current Committee:
Senate Environmental Conservation
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Add §37-0118, En Con L

S8291 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Prohibits cosmetic products and personal care products that contain mercury; establishes civil penalties for any person who sells such products containing mercury.

S8291 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

S8291 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                     S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
                             I N  S E N A T E
                             February 9, 2022
 Introduced  by  Sen.  BROUK  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
   printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation
 AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
   prohibiting  cosmetic products and personal care products that contain
   Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds that
 mercury  salts  stop  the production of melanin, which is a pigment that
 makes skin darker and is an active ingredient in skin lightening cosmet-
 ics and products. The Minamata Convention on mercury establishes a limit
 of 1 mg/kg (1ppm)  for  skin  lightening  products,  but  many  cosmetic
 products  have  higher levels to increase lightening effect. Advertisers
 and marketers promote and reinforce lighter skin tones as a more desira-
 ble beauty standard than darker skin tones. Images of  individuals  with
 lighter  and/or  'Caucasian' skin tones saturate the media as acceptable
 while many darker skin and/or people of color individuals  are  demeaned
 and  diminished,  often  called derogatory names and slurs. These images
 reinforce to individuals that lighter skin tones are not only more beau-
 tiful but also acceptable.  Skin  lightening  products  prey  off  these
 images  to  promote  and increase sales. With widespread sales, the skin
 lightening industry has become one of the fastest growing beauty  indus-
 tries  worldwide  with an estimated increasing worth of $31.2 billion by
 2024. There is growing legislation to prohibit the sale and  manufacture
 of  mercury  containing  products.  Even with growing prohibitions, skin
 lightening products containing mercury is  still  widely  available  and
 easily  obtainable,  particularly  through  Internet  sales  and  online
 promotions, often  being  sold  through  mobile  apps.  Skin  lightening
 products  containing mercury are available for sale through social media
 sites, online and brick and mortar stores. These products  are  manufac-
 tured  abroad and often sold illegally and in high amounts in the United
 States in small shops and informal markets that  target  Latino,  Asian,
 African,  Indian,  and  Middle  Eastern  communities.  Consumers  may be
 unaware of the harmful effects of mercury in skin lightening products. A
  EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                       [ ] is old law to be omitted.


Open Legislation is a forum for New York State legislation. All comments are subject to review and community moderation is encouraged.

Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity, hate or toxic speech; or that link to sites outside of the domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Attempts to intimidate and silence contributors or deliberately deceive the public, including excessive or extraneous posting/posts, or coordinated activity, are prohibited and may result in the temporary or permanent banning of the user. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday. By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.