Increasing Use Of Hazardous Preservatives—action Needed For Protection Of Health And Environment

Increasing Use Of Hazardous Preservatives—action Needed For Protection Of Health And Environment


The use of hazardous preservatives in chemicals increased dramatically between 1995 and 2018. Many of them are potent skin sensitizers and can cause lifelong allergies, affecting work ability and quality of life. A new study from the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) shows that action is needed to protect human health and the environment.

Many other preservatives and biocides are potent sensitizers on skin contact. Many of them are also dangerous for the environment. The allergy is lifelong and susceptible individuals should avoid skin exposure to the substance to prevent allergic contact dermatitis that can affect work ability and quality of life.

Significant increase in usage

The aim of the study was to find out how EU chemicals legislation and the use of problematic preservatives in chemicals has evolved over time, while their use in cosmetics is better understood. The study shows that the use of the most problematic drugs has increased significantly. The study also shows that ingredient labeling of skin preservatives is often missing due to legal requirements. Currently, cosmetics and cleaning products are the only products with mandatory ingredient labels for preservatives. Certain preservatives, especially the isothiazolinones, have caused widespread outbreaks of contact allergies due to their widespread use. Therefore, it is often difficult to avoid dangerous contacts and skin diseases. Paint, adhesives, and sealants are examples of products that often contain these harmful chemicals.

"The dramatic increase in the use of preservatives and other biocides is alarming. Urgent and effective action is needed to protect human health and the environment," says Carola Leiden IMM, Karolinska Institutet.

The research, published in the Journal of Contact Dermatitis, includes a review of threshold values ​​for more than 20 common skin preservatives and an analysis of data from the Swedish Product Register from 1995 to 2018. The research examines how it can be used EU chemicals legislation more effectively and how industry can reduce the use of dangerous preservatives.

More information: Carola Leyden et al., Preservatives in non-cosmetic products: Increasing human exposure calls for action to protect health, Contact Dermatitis (2022). DOI: 10.1111/COD.14181.005

Citation: Increased Use of Hazardous Preservatives: Action Needed to Protect Health and the Environment (Aug 23, 2022) Retrieved from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-08-hazardous-preservativesaction-health-environment. html

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