Brussels plots restrictions on parabens in cosmetics


Follows action in Denmark

The European Commission is planning a proposal to ban the use of certain paraben preservatives in cosmetics, and tightly restrict others.

A paper from the EU’s scientific committee on consumer safety said Commission officials are drafting a regulation prohibiting the use of five parabens in cosmetics: isopropyl, isobutyl, pentyl, phenyl and benzyl esters of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid and their salts. The reason, it said was “insufficient information to conduct a safety assessment”.

Furthermore, the Commission proposals would also reduce to 0.19% the allowed maximum concentration of propyl and butylparabens, used individually or combined in cosmetics.

The EU action comes as Denmark has banned the use of parabens in cosmetics products intended for children under three years old.