EU Bans Allergenic Fragrances

At their meeting in mid-March, the members of the Standing Committee on Cosmetics Products approved a total ban of three allergenic fragrances: Atranol, chloratranol, and H3 and 4-(4-hydroxy-4-methylpentyl) cyclohex-3-ene-1-carbaldehyde (HICC). The move supplements Annex II and III of EU- Regulation No. 1223/2009 on Cosmetic Products. According to the change, all cosmetics that contain one of the three ingredients must disappear from the market within two years.

This decision is only one of several measures that the EU Commission wants to implement in the future to counter the use of these kinds of allergens. A comprehensive report published last year by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency contributed to the consistent approach taken by the EU. The report showed the allergenic potential of such substances.

The Committee also limited the use of zinc oxide as a coloring agent in cosmetics. According to the modified Annex IV of the Cosmetics Regulation, the substance may no longer be used in applications “that can lead to exposure after inhalation into the lungs of end users.”

The members of the Committee also limited the use of methylisothiazolinone (MIT) as a preservative, following a recommendation of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS). That group had urged that in the future, the substance would be allowed only in a maximum concentration of 15 ppm (15 milligrams per liter) in rinse-off products. Such products include personal care products that do not remain on the skin or hair. Last year, the substance was prohibited in leave-on products like lotions and creams. See our blog entry, “EU bans preservatives from leave-on products“.

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