Cosmetics carcinogens after Brexit? CTPA smacks down suggestion

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetics carcinogens after Brexit? CTPA smacks down suggestion
The UK’s cosmetics trade association has asserted that “cosmetic products will continue to be safe after Brexit”, following recent media coverage that suggested standards on safety for beauty may slip in the UK once it leaves the EU.

The comments from the Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) come in response to a provocative comment piece in The Guardian​ (a UK national daily newspaper), entitled 'Carcinogens in your cosmetics? Welcome to Brexit Britain'.

How would you feel about putting a lovely dollop of formaldehyde on your nails?” ​the contentious article asks. “No? Well, perhaps I could interest you in a sprinkling of asbestos for your skin?”

The article, which suggests that “leaving means losing stringent EU rules on hazardous chemicals in makeup in favour of opaque US-style self-regulation​”, has been robustly rejected by the CTPA.

Dr Emma Meredith, Director-General of CTPA and a pharmacist, says: “I am disappointed in the article which contains many inaccuracies regarding both the current EU legal cosmetic framework and the future UK laws​.” Her full statement can be read here​.

Safety first for UK beauty

The trade association explains that it has been leading efforts to ensure that standards on beauty safety will not fall in any eventuality regarding Brexit.

It reassures consumers: “You may have read an article in The Guardian that claims cosmetic products could contain unsafe ingredients after the UK leaves the European Union.  This is absolutely not the case​”.

As part of the European Union, the UK has been instrumental in the legislative process for cosmetic and personal care products. The EU cosmetics laws are seen as a gold standard across the world and products complying with these requirements are highly considered outside the EU, the CTPA explains.

The new UK cosmetic law proposed by the Government, and expected to be laid before the UK Parliament shortly, retain the requirement to only provide safe and effective cosmetic and personal products and mirror the current EU banned and restricted ingredients lists.

For any cosmetic product being placed on the UK market, irrespective of its origin, consumers can be reassured that both now and after we leave the EU all ingredients must be safe to use, as must the final cosmetic product.​”

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