EU restricts use three preservatives in cosmetic products
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EU restricts use of three preservatives in cosmetic products

6:51 AM, 27th September 2014
EU restricts use of three preservatives in cosmetic products

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: The European Union (EU) has adopted two measures restricting the use of three preservatives in cosmetic products. The Commission took the measure to further strengthen the protection of consumers, in particular babies and young children. The Commission decision follows an assessment by the independent Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), an advisory body which carried out a careful risk assessment of the substances before recommending their restriction or ban.

“We have shown once again that the safety of consumers is paramount in every decision we take. Preservatives in cosmetics serve a valuable function ensuring that the products we use on a daily basis are free from pathogens. We need however to ensure that the preservatives guarantee the maximum degree of protection. With these measures consumers can be reassured that their cosmetics are safe,” said Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for Consumer Policy.

With the adopted measures the Commission limits the maximum concentration of two preservatives, propylparaben and butylparaben, from currently allowed limit of 0.4 per cent when used individually and 0.8 per cent when mixed with other esters, to 0.14 per cent, when used individually or together. They are being banned from leave-on products designed for the nappy area of young children below the age of three since existing skin irritation and occlusion may allow increased penetration than intact skin. The new rules will apply for products put on shelves after 16 April 2015.

Secondly, the Commission bans the mixture of methylchloroisothiazolinone (and) methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) from leave-on products such as body creams. The measure is aimed at reducing the risk from and the incidence of skin allergies. The preservative can still be used in rinse-off products such as shampoos and shower gels at a maximum concentration of 0.0015 per cent of a mixture in the ratio 3:1 of MCI/MI. The measure will apply for products placed on the market after 16 July 2015.

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