On November 1, 2013 the public consultation period for the banning of butyl- and propylparabens in cosmetics will close. Following the debate on the safety of the use of parabens as preservatives in cosmetics, EC’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) had published an opinion on parabens in May 2013. In consequence the European Commission (EC) decided to ban benzyl-, pentyl, isopropyl-, isobutyl-, and phenylparaben. The combined use of butyl- and propylparabens is to be limited to 0.19% w/w (as esters), which is the topic of the ongoing consultation. Ethyl- and methylparabens are considered safe at a maximum concentration of 0.4% w/w for single and 0.8% w/w for mixtures of esters respectively in the SCCS opinion. Methyl- and ethylparabens but also propyl- and isopropylparaben are also used in food packaging materials, but common uses reported in the ESCO working group report include coatings and printing inks. Comments on the restriction of butyl- and propylparabens in cosmetics may be sent to the EC Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG Sanco).
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