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Swedish government to toughen the regulations on preservatives in cosmetics

The Swedish government has recently organized a public consultation after the Swedish Chemicals Agency (Kemi) issued a report on preservatives. Thus, a certain amount of demands have emerged aiming at a harsher regulation on the presence of some preservatives deemed problematic in cosmetic products. The Swedish government wonders what measures to implement (or not).

Are regulations on preservatives about to get firmer?


Earlier this year, Kemi studied the use of nineteen different preservatives in cosmetics in order to establish if they should be subject to national safety measures. The agency concluded that introducing national restrictions would not be proportionate at this point.

This being said, the agency still called for measures to be taken at the European level, including a revision of the list of authorized preservatives in the regulation of cosmetic products in Europe.

Later on, in a public consultation, the Swedish government asked several important actors to comment on Kemi’s proposal before taking any decision. The deadline for the submission of comments was October, 30th.

A majority of respondents agreed with Kemi and supported its plans to pin down potentially dangerous substances present in the list of approved preservatives. Nonetheless, others have suggested the adoption of a tougher regulation in Sweden, followed by stricter national measures.


The NGO ChemSec encourages Sweden to take care of labelling regulations on cosmetics


ChemSec expressed its will to see Sweden promote a cosmetic products’ labelling that would be compliant with the European Union’s classification and labelling rules (CLP). On top of that, the NGO also wishes to see the European cosmetic regulation address environmental issues.

But the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not go as far as ChemSec in its demands. Nevertheless, it still stresses the necessity of monitoring the environment so as to make sure that the levels of chemicals that are present in Sweden – like triclosan for instance – do not increase.

triclosan conservateur cosmétique

Restrictions & bans on some preservatives


During the consultation, the EPA and ChemSec both expressed their wishes to see some preservatives restricted or even banned.

The EPA wants Sweden to ban mercury compounds and silver chloride which, according to them, contributes to increased resistance to antibiotics.

ChemSec would also like the EU to restrict the use of nineteen substances that are already prohibited in hand wash products in the United States yet still allowed in cosmetic products within the EU.

Kemi underlines that it is now up to the Swedish government to decide of the next step for its report.


Want to know more about the use of preservatives in cosmetics?


For more information on preservatives in cosmetics, do not hesitate to contact our expert Mr Sylvain De Backer by phone: +331 83 64 20 54 if you are calling for Europe or +1 (778) 234 1607 if you are calling from North America or by email at [email protected].



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