SCCS OKs Preservative PHMB At 0.1%, Leaving Room For EU Cosmetic Use
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
European NGOs have been clamoring for a ban on the use of preservative polyaminopropyl biguanide in cosmetics due to its listing under EU regs as potentially carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic. The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety can clear such substances as safe for cosmetics use, but prior to the group’s December opinion, it looked as if another preservative could be struck from industry’s toolkit.
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Trade group Cosmetics Europe launched an education and advocacy campaign in 2018 to address industry’s shrinking preservative palette, which many believe has reached “crisis proportions." Stateside, 2018 saw growing movement in the development and use of alternative preservative systems, while Cosmetic Ingredient Review activity accelerated around conventional go-tos.
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel tabled a draft final report for preservative polyaminopropyl biguanide June 5 to await promised sensitization and exposure data from industry. There is concern that an “insufficient data” decision could prompt reformulations with even more questionable alternatives in a market short on preservative options.
NGOs say the widely accepted legal understanding in the EU is that substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction are "automatically" banned from cosmetic product use – but the European Commission says otherwise. The regulatory case of preservative polyaminopropyl biguanide helps to illustrate the advantages for industry in the Commission-affirmed non-automatic model.