The proposed restriction is based on recommendations from the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) from 2009. The regulatory body stated that the preservatives, which are currently allowed in small concentrations in cosmetics, may have a “sensitizing” effect on skin.
The commission is therefore considering changing the ingredient’s Annex V entry to limit the chemicals to rinse-off items only.
The consultation on this proposal will be open until 8 October 2013.
The Commission’s restrictions
The SCCS found that there was a risk of the chemicals creating excessive skin sensitization, which would have to potential to cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, flushing and stinging.
A statement from the Commission on MCIT and MIT reads: “Although allowed and restricted in concentration in formulae, they are regularly questioned, especially when used as mixture, about their potential sensitizing effect.”
”The European Commission envisages restricting their use as mixture to rinse-off products only.”
CTPA weighs in
On the matter, Eleanor O’Connor, communications co-ordinator at the CTPA told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com that the change in regulations is likely to have little effect on manufacturers because they had been informed since 2009 that rinse-only applications would be the sole cosmetics type permitted going forward.
She said: “Companies will have known since the publication of the SCCS opinion in 2009 that going forward only rinse-off applications would be used and so we assume would have been formulating away from any leave-on uses.”
“In any case, we understand the ingredient suppliers have only been marketing the blend for rinse-off uses for a while now.”
MCIT and MIT as preservatives
The CTPA called the anticipated update to MCIT and MIT’s entries: “an expert judgement made on the basis of all available information.”
The organization also pointed out that all preservatives had some risk of sensitization because they contain chemicals which inhibit the growth of living organisms.
O’Connor said: “The key factor is striking the right balance between ensuring effective preservation and avoiding over-use that might raise the risk of sensitization unnecessarily.”