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Regulation

Cosmetic preservative butylparaben regulation proposed in EU

Denmark’s plan would cue up chemical for possible authorization

by Cheryl Hogue
December 20, 2019

Denmark is proposing that butylparaben, a widely used antimicrobial preservative in cosmetics and personal care products, be placed on a path toward strict regulation in the European Union.

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The chemical is one of four parabens commonly used as antimicrobial preservative in cosmetics. The EU already restricts the amount of parabens in cosmetics. Manufacturers are searching for alternatives to these substances.

Denmark’s plan could eventually eliminate this use of butylparaben in the EU. Calling the chemical an endocrine disruptor, Denmark’s Dec. 16 submission to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) begins a regulatory process that could end with companies able to use the chemical only if ECHA formally authorizes each specific use.

Some advocacy organizations, such as the Environmental Working Group, want parabens, including butylparaben, eliminated from personal care products and cosmetics.

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