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EC Announces Adoption of Improved Cosmetics Safety Concerning Preservatives

October 21, 2014

The European Commission (EC) has adopted two measures restricting the use of three preservatives in cosmetic products to strengthen the protection of consumers, in particular babies and young children.

With the adopted measures, the Commission limits the maximum concentration of two preservatives, 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. They are also being banned from leave-on products designed for the nappy area of young children below the age of three. The new rules will apply for products put on shelves after April 16, 2015.

Additionally, 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. However, the preservative 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.