SGS Informs Manufacturers of the EUs Restriction on o-phenylphenol and its Salts in Cosmetics

Top Quote In November 2018, the European Commission published restrictions on the use of o-phenylphenol, MEA o-phenylphenate, potassium o-phenylphenate and sodium o-phenylphenate in cosmetics. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) January 17, 2019 - On November 27, 2018, the European Commission issued new restrictions on the use of o-phenylphenol and its salts in cosmetic products. Regulation (EU) 2018/1847 enters into force twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    The restrictions follow opinion SCCS/1555/15 of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) that highlighted the potential risk to the vision system presented by the presence of o-phenylphenol. In addition, opinion SCCS/1597/18 indicated that sodium o-phenylphenate, potassium o-phenylphenate and MEA o-phenylphenate may potentially have more potent toxic effects than o-phenylphenol, due to greater skin penetration.

    These substances are salts of Biphenyl-2-ol and had previously been listed in Annex V of EC 1223/2009 as preservatives, allowing them a maximum concentration of 0.2% (as phenol). Regulation (EU) 2018/1847 now restricts the use of o-phenylphenol to a maximum concentration of:
    0.15% (as phenol) in leave-on cosmetic products
    0.2% (as phenol) in rinse-off cosmetic products with the warning - Avoid contact with eyes

    Sodium o-phenylphenate, potassium o-phenylphenate and MEA o-phenylphenate are now banned from use as preservatives.

    Stakeholders should take note of the following effective dates:

    June 17, 2019 products must comply with these rules to be placed on the market in the EU
    September 17, 2019 only products complying with these rules to be made available on the market in the EU

    SGS Cosmetics & Personal Care Testing Services
    SGS provides testing, inspection, auditing and consulting services to manufacturers, distributors and importers to ensure a high level of product quality in every area. A global network of state-of-the-art laboratories offer custom-made solutions for chemical, biophysical, microbiological, stability and biological aspects. Learn more about SGSs Cosmetics & Personal Care Testing Services. (

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    For further information contact:

    Denny Li
    Technical Support
    Tel: +86 020 2909 3881
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

    About SGS
    SGS is the worlds leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.

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