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Laws and regulations

The EU Commission restricts the use of three preservatives in cosmetic products

The European Commission has lowered the maximum concentrations allowed for two parabens in cosmetic products and has prohibited their use in some baby products. The usage of methylisothiazolinone (MI) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) is also further restricted.

These new decisions follow a risk 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.

© Olga Miltsova / shutterstock.com

© Olga Miltsova / shutterstock.com

New restrictions on parabens

The first measure adopted by the Commission [1] limits the maximum concentration of Propylparaben and Butylparaben, from currently allowed limit of 0.4% when used individually and 0.8% when mixed with other esters, to 0.14%, when used individually or together.

Furthermore, the two preservatives are being banned from leave-on products designed for the nappy area of young children below the age of three. Indeed, the Commission explains, “existing skin irritation and occlusion may allow increased penetration than intact skin.

The new rules will apply for products put on shelves after April 16, 2015. Non-complying products must be withdrawn from the market by October 16, 2015.

You can download Commission regulation (EU) No 1004/2014 here below:

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1004/2014

Earlier this year, the Commission banned the use of five other parabens in cosmetic products - Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Phenylparaben, Benzylparaben and Pentylparaben [2] due to the lack of data necessary for reassessment. Products placed on the market after 30 October 2014 will have to be free from these substances.

Restriction regarding the MCI/MI mixture

Secondly, the Commission bans the mixture of Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) from leave-on products such as body creams [3]. The measure is aimed at reducing the risk from and the incidence of skin allergies.

You can download Commission regulation (EU) No 1003/2014 here below:

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1003/2014

However, the mixture can still be used in rinse-off products, such as shampoos and shower gels at a maximum concentration of 0.0015 % of a mixture in the ratio 3:1 of MCI/MI.

The measure will apply for products placed on the market after July 16, 2015. Non-complying products must be withdrawn from the market by April 16, 2015.

Methylparaben and Ethylparaben are safe

However, the Commission also reiterated the important role of preservatives for the safety of consumers. “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," said the European Commissioner for Consumer Policy, Neven Mimica.

The status of other parabens, like Methylparaben and Ethylparaben, remains unchanged. The EU Commission reminded that the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has repeatedly confirmed them as safe. “They are also some of the most efficient preservatives,” the Commission added.

Vincent Gallon, with AFP/Relaxnews

Footnotes

[1Commission regulation (EU) No 1004/2014 of 18 September 2014 amending Annex V to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cosmetic products

[2Commission Regulation (EU) No 358/2014

[3Commission Regulation (EU) No 1003/2014 of 18 September 2014 amending Annex V to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cosmetic products

© 2014 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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