EU Commission: ‘stop stigmatising preservatives or put public health at risk’

EU Commission: ‘stop stigmatising preservatives or put public health at risk’

Martin Seychell, Deputy General of the European Commission’s health directorate (DG Sante) has warned that an ongoing scrutiny of cosmetic preservatives will create ‘real public health problems.’

He warned that regulatory scrutiny is of ‘great concern’ and that risk managers “must fulfil their responsibilities with great care” in a bid to unnecessarily avoid losing substances from lists.

Speaking at the trade body Cosmetics Europe’s annual conference in Brussels, Seychell said, “Excessively reducing the palette of preservatives available to formulators creates real public health problems. It means that consumers are exposed to higher levels of the remaining ones.” 

Indeed, he continued that by stigmatising the use of preservatives and claiming products are ‘preservative or paraben-free’ undermines the risk assessmenent process if the science committee deems them not to be.

The lack of preservatives on the market – with many bans coming into action over the past two years such as parabens and the mixture of methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) – has created a call-to-action from Cosmetics Europe, which is conducting an industry survey regarding the use of preservatives in cosmetics.

Cosmetics Europe Director General, John Chave, told Chemical Watch that the results would be, “a platform for evolving our strategy for going forward which is partly about communication, partly about risk assessment and risk management and partly about regulation as well.”