CTPA and PCPC respond to cosmetic chemicals study

Both respond to claims that swapping brands can reduce levels of chemicals in body

The CTPA and the PCPC have both responded to claims about the effects of swapping cosmetic brands made in a recent University of California-Berkeley study.

The study observed 100 teenage girls before and after they swapped from standard cosmetics to products said to be free from ingredients including phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone. The researchers found that levels of these chemicals found in the participant’s urine were significantly reduced after swapping brands.

In a statement shared on its website, the CTPA said: ‘What’s really important to remember is not whether we can detect the presence of a substance in the body or urine, but whether the presence of that substance can actually cause us harm.”

The industry body also noted that the study had not demonstrated any negative effect caused by the ingredients and that endocrine disrupters are not used in any cosmetic products. The CTPA added: “It is disappointing that legally allowed and safe cosmetic ingredients have been unfairly called into question by this study.”

The PCPC also commented on the study. In a statement shared on the council's website, Linda Loretz, Chief Toxicologist at PCPC, said: “Consumers are often confused by scaring sounding claim about chemical risks that may sound science-based, but do not reveal anything about actual risk levels […] The substances that were included in the study are quickly excreted from the body, which is why they show up in urine; they do not bioaccumulate.”