EcoWaste Coalition Urges Cosmetics Companies to Recall Products Containing Banned Ingredients

The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watchdog group, renewed its
call for  manufacturers, importers,
distributors and retailers of cosmetics containing banned ingredients to
promptly recall their non-compliant products.
The group had earlier found 15 imported as well as locally-produced cosmetics being
sold in the local market that still contain banned isobutylparaben and
isopropylparaben as ingredients.
Isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben, along with benzylparaben, pentylparaben
and phenyparaben, had been included in the “list of substances which must not
form part of the composition of cosmetic products” under the ASEAN Cosmetics
“While the other types of parabens are still permitted under current
regulations, these five parabens should no longer be added to cosmetics,” said Thony
Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“The government has given the cosmetics industry enough time to reformulate and
replace the banned parabens with permissible preservatives,” he added.
“For the health and safety of consumers, we urge the concerned companies to take
every non-compliant products off store shelves,” he stated.
The EcoWaste Coalition had recently found banned isobutylparaben and
isopropylparaben listed as ingredients in some skin moisturizing
lotion, skin whitening cream and lotion, sun protection lotion, body wash, cleanser,
liquid hand soap and foot scrub cream.
As per Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Circular 2015-008, cosmetics that
contain any of the five aforecited parabens can still be in the market until
December 31, 2015.
The agency reiterated the said grace period through FDA Circular 2015-014,
which means that cosmetics containing the banned parabens will no longer be
allowed in the market by January 1, 2016.
“Cosmetic companies are advised to recall their products containing the
abovementioned ingredients by the end of the grace period,” the FDA said.
“All cosmetic company/ies or person/s responsible for placing cosmetic products
in the market which are found to be out of specifications shall be subject to
appropriate legal actions,” the FDA warned.
Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in
cosmetics to prevent the growth of microbes and promote a longer product shelf
life.  However, parabens have attracted critical
attention because they can mimic hormones and negatively affect human
Some studies have indicated that parabens can imitate estrogens, which have
been associated to an increased risk of breast cancer.  Other studies have suggested that parabens
can disrupt reproductive hormones.