ASEAN Bans Five Parabens
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) Cosmetics Committee (ACC) decided at its recent meeting to ban the use of five parabens as preservatives in cosmetics. The substances are isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben, and pentylparaben.
The compounds will be added to Annex II of the Asean cosmetics Directive, the list of substances prohibited from use in cosmetics formulations. Existing products containing the parabens will be allowed to remain on the market until 30 July in most Asean member countries. However, Thailand and the Philippines have set a longer grace period, until 31 December. The decision aligns Asean rules with EU law, where the parabens were banned last year under the EU cosmetics Regulation.
Vice-president of the ASEAN cosmetics association, Alain Khaiat tells Chemical Watch that the ban comes as no surprise: "The Asean Cosmetics Directive is modelled after the EU, and any modification to the EU annexes are evaluated by the Asean Cosmetic Scientific Body, which makes recommendations to the ACC for adoption."
Also in line with the EU Regulation, the committee confirmed that it will restrict the maximum concentration of the biocidal active substance triclosan to 0.2% in mouthwashes, and 0.3% in other cosmetic products, such as toothpastes, hand soaps and face powders. The grace period for such products will be discussed at the committee's next meeting, which also decided that it needs more time to review the safety of triclosan in shampoo, which is not mentioned in the EU Regulation.
The committee also decided to continue monitoring developments regarding the use of methylisothiazolinone (MIT) in the EU, where the safe use of the substance on leave-on products is still under discussion, and will come back to the issue at its next meeting. The compound is currently approved under the Asean cosmetics Directive for use in leave-on and rinse-off products, with a maximum concentration of 0.01% (100ppm).
The committee further amended the cosmetics Directive entry for boric acid under Annex III, the list of restricted substances, changing the reference “hygiene products” to “oral hygiene products”, and agreed to adopt last year's EU regulations setting:
> maximum concentration limits for the preservatives cetrimonium chloride, steartrimonium chloride and behentrimonium chloride, the mixture citric acid and silver nitrate, as well as nano-UV filter tris-biphenyl triazine;
> a ban on the mixture methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) for leave-on products, and
> maximum concentration limits for propylparaben and butylparaben.
The ACC secretariat is due to distribute the updated annexes to the cosmetics Directive by the end of January.
Source: Chemical Watch