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New Zealand bans use of PFAS in cosmetics

Source:Environmental Protection Authority New Zealand Government Release Date:2024-02-26 309
Personal CareRaw Materials & Ingredients Ingredients/FormulationIndustry Updates
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The ban is only one of several updates presented to the Cosmetic Products Group Standard to ensure cosmetic products are safe to consumers and environment.

New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) said the use of per– and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cosmetic products shall be banned from 31 December 2026.

 

PFAS are also known as ‘forever chemicals’ as they offer cosmetics resistance to heat, water and stains, allowing products like foundation, lipstick, and mascara to stay on longer and spread more smoothly, on the skin.  But they can be toxic at high levels, do not break down easily and can even build up in the human body, according to Dr Shaun Presow, Hazardous Substances Reassessments Manager.

 

New Zealand is the first country to ban PFAS. The ban is only one of several updates presented to the Cosmetic Products Group Standard to ensure cosmetic products are safe to consumers and environment.

 

“International research suggests PFAS are only found in a small number of products, but we take a precautionary approach to potential risks from PFAS. Banning these chemicals in cosmetics is part of our ongoing response, which includes phasing out all PFAS-firefighting foams and testing for background levels of PFAS in the New Zealand environment.”

 

“We’ve also strengthened the regulations so non-hazardous cosmetic products that contain a hazardous ingredient are now regulated,” says Dr Presow.

 

“This makes it easier for us to enforce the rules around banned and restricted ingredients that may be found in these products.”

 

The EPA publicly consulted on the rule changes in 2023 and received 20 submissions, including 14 from the cosmetics industry.

 

“The feedback from our consultation was particularly important for us to better understand how widespread PFAS use is in cosmetics, and was supportive of the changes,” says Dr Presow.

 

“We will continue to engage with industry to manage the transition before PFAS are banned and the other changes take effect.”

 

More information at

https://www.epa.govt.nz/public-consultations/decided/updates-to-the-cosmetic-products-group-standard/

 

(Thumbnail photo: Natalya Aksenova I Dreamstime.com)

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