Taiwan to follow EU's ban on estrogen in cosmetics

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union

Taiwan to follow EU's ban on estrogen in cosmetics
Taiwan could impose a ban on the use of three kinds of estrogen — estradiol, estrone and ethinylestradiol in cosmetics by 2016.

Taiwan is considering following the European Union's decision to ban estrogen in cosmetics to 'protect the consumer and the environment'.

According to an FDA cosmetics representative Chu Yu-ju, the EU, Canada and member countries of ASEAN have already banned the use of these three chemical ingredients in beauty products.

Taiwan currently has a 'control list' where manufacturing or importing estradiol, estrone or ethinylestradiol requires a permit.

According to Taiwan's Central News Agency, health authorities have issued 241 permits for using estrogen in cosmetic products but set a limit of 200 IU international units) on products for scalp use and 500 IU on those for other parts of the body.

It reports a fine of up to NT$100,000 will be imposed on products that exceed the official limits and the rule-breaking products will be confiscated and destroyed. 

Estrogen in cosmetics

Estrogen, estrone, and progesterone can been found in shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers and astringents, body and skin creams.

On contacting the European Commission regarding the ban that Taiwan refers to, a spokesperson told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com that estrogens had indeed been prohibited in cosmetics since the original Cosmetics Directive of 1976. 

However, environmental hormones can also fall under 'parabens' or 'phthalates' which are currently not illegal, but have to be proven to be safe.

Indeed, most up to date research continues to conclude that paraben preserving agents used widely in cosmetics pose no threat to human health.

In 2010, the EU's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) published an updated opinion on parabens.

It concluded that there is not enough data to perform risk assessments for propylparaben and butylparaben in humans, and that in the meantime, the maximum concentration of these parabens should be lowered from 0.8% to 0.19%.

However the 'paraben-free' bug has well and truly bitten, and with consumers increasingly keen for these claims, from formulation to packaging, manufacturers are now fully exploiting the trend.

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