ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: November 30, 2016

How to ensure the safety of cosmetics

"Restrictions on cosmetic preservatives ramp up"
Chemical & Engineering News

In recent years, environmental groups have been calling out cosmetic preservatives as suspected endocrine disruptors, cancer-causing agents and skin irritants. The campaigns have resulted in new restrictions on certain preservatives. But, as reported in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the shrinking list of approved preservatives is having unintended consequences.

Marc S. Reisch, a senior correspondent at C&EN, notes that preservatives play a key role in cosmetics. They prevent mold, fungi and bacteria from growing in creams, makeup and shampoos. Left unchecked, contaminants can spoil products or cause skin or eye infections or worse. Regulators are working through claims on individual compounds to determine whether they’re safe at various concentrations. In the meantime, some companies are phasing out or lowering levels of preservatives — even those that regulators have approved, including certain parabens.

With new restrictions on preservatives, making sure bacteria, fungi and mold don’t grow in cosmetics is getting harder.
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