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Cosmetics and antimicrobial resistance in the EU

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

There is growing evidence that biocide-resistant bacteria is present in cosmetic products, but to date there are no studies to indicate that they are linked to antibiotic resistance, the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks says in a Nov. 4 preliminary report identifying gaps in scientific knowledge on antibiotic resistance. In the report, "The Effects of the Active Substances in Biocidal Products on Antibiotic Resistance," the committee says extensive use of some biocides for preservation, including parabens and formaldehyde, has lead to the development of resistant strains that are responsible for the deterioration of products. As a result, a mixture of biocides is used to preserve formulas, thus exposing the consumer to "more biocides, both qualitatively and quantitatively," the committee says. Report also says use of triclosan in deodorants, soaps and toothpastes has contributed to resistant strains. Comments on the report will be accepted through Nov. 30

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