Denmark’s Ministry of the Environment has announced it is to offer grants to Danish companies to motivate the development and testing of chemical alternatives.
The initiative envisions new and more effective environmental solutions in several areas including chemicals in cosmetics in order to limit exposure.
According to the Ministry, although all cosmetic products marketed in the EU should be safe to use, as outlined by the Cosmetics Directive, certain products contain ingredients that may cause unwanted effects such as allergies.
Focusing mainly on preservatives, it says that many of the existing, approved preservatives may cause allergies and some have shown an endocrine disrupting potential.
"The preservatives used in order to ensure a certain degree of durability of the products, and in order to prevent these products is a risk of infection for the user. Recent years have also raised suspicions about other adverse effects such as endocrine disrupters," says a company spokesperson.
Thus cosmetic companies are invited to submit applications for substitutes including packaging that can reduce the need for preservatives.
The Danish government highlights examples of alternatives like packaging featuring a metering pump that prevents the decrease of air to the container, thereby ensuring that the product is not contaminated by the user's fingers.
It also points to the production and formulation of products by adjusting water activity, the pH value and use of multi-functional ingredients, which have a certain degree of antimicrobial action, or that support the effect of preservatives, which thus can be used in minor amounts.
Hair dyes and perfumes are also mentioned as potential allergns which are likely to benefit from substitutes.
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is dealing with grant applications which should completed by the 21st of September.