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Colipa defends industry position on breast cancer chemicals

By Simon Pitman , 03-Apr-2008

Following the publication of a report about oestrogen mimicing chemicals in personal care products, Colipa has defended the regulatory procedures governing this area.

The action stems from comments made by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), which were prompted by the publication yesterday of a report concerning breast cancer and exposure to hormonally active chemicals.

 

 

 

The report, which was commissioned by HEAL and CHEM Trust, concluded that certain chemicals in everyday products contribute to breast cancer and should be removed to protect the public.

 

 

 

Colipa defends regulation of parabens

 

 

 

In its statement, Colipa said that the industry is aware about scientific studies purporting to risks over chemicals that can mimic oestrogen and also acknowledged concerns that consumers might have over this.

 

 

 

However, with reference to the report's focus on parabens, and specifically UV-filters and phthalates, Colipa said it wanted to underline the rigorous evaluation processes that these type of chemicals have already undergone in Europe.

 

 

 

"The industry wants consumers and others to know that those phthalates implicated as being of risk to human health have already been prohibited from cosmetic products," the Colipa statement said.

 

 

 

The industry body also pointed out that those parabens most commonly used in the personal care segment, namely methylparaben and ethylparaben, have been investigated by the European Commission's Scientific Committee for Consumer Products (SCCP).

 

 

 

SCCP is currently evaluating certain parabens

 

 

Its investigation found these parabens do not pose any risk to human health, while other parabens currently used in personal care formulations are under-going 'evaluation'.

 

 

 

Colipa says it anticipates that the 'independent scrutiny' currently being carried out by the SCCP will confirm the safety of these other parabens.

 

 

 

Over the last 20 years, incidence of breast cancer has doubled in some European countries, according to data from the WHO.

 

 

 

Many interest groups and scientists claim that this phenomenon is linked to the proliferation of synthetic chemicals in consumer products.

 

 

 

Around 200 scientists signed the Prague Declaration in 2005, which raised concerns about the cancer risk posed by everyday chemicals including some pesticides, flame retardants, cosmetic ingredients and medicines.