Danish Consumer Organization Points Out Dangerous Substances in Cosmetics

The Danish Consumer Council, THINK Chemicals, has submitted samples of cosmetics for examination and discovered the presence of polyaminopropyl biguanide (PAPB), a preservative. The CLP Regulation rates this substance as carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic for reproduction (Category CMR-2). The Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of the ECHA agrees, calling it acutely toxic. It is even more surprising that the substance was found in almost all of the 36 products examined, including creams, make-up removers, and cleansing tissues.

Manufacturers of and dealers in the products studied refer to the Cosmetics Regulation, which allows the use of CMR-2 substances as long as the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) considers them safe. In its report, however, the SCCS has not yet reached a final determination. Too little data is now available on the mutagenic potential of the substance and possible ingestion of PAPB through the skin. The manufacturers hope for ongoing studies that will lead to a positive final judgement from the SCCS.

Consumer advocates do not want to wait that long. THINK Chemicals spokesperson Claus Jørgensen has already sent the results of the studies to various environmental agencies. One Danish wholesaler has already reacted and removed the products in questions from shelves.

It’s clear that consumers react cautiously, especially to products that come into contact with the skin. That’s why cosmetics should be particularly safe – from the viewpoint of the consumer and from your viewpoint as the manufacturer. Ensure the legal security of your products and feel free to contact us with any questions at cosmetics@kft.de. And please think about our seminar on Air Fresheners, Shaving Foam, Cleaners & Co. (German only) on April 21, 2016.

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