MANILA, Philippines — Beauty products using a banned ingredient are still sold in the market despite a recall order from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) effective January 1.
The anti-toxics consumer watchdog Ecowaste Coalition reported to the FDA that it has recently found in stores at least 15 products that contained parabens, which has been banned from cosmetic products in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
EcoWaste said they checked some stores and found 15 products of lotions, body wash, liquid soap and foot scrub creams that listed certain types of parabens among the ingredients.
Parabens are commonly used as preservatives to prevent the growth of microbes and promote a longer shelf life of cosmetic products.
But studies found parabens disrupt normal endocrine functions as they imitate the female hormone estrogens, which are associated to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Other studies suggested parabens could disrupt reproductive hormones.
The ingredient has been banned in cosmetic products in ASEAN since August 1, 2015, but the Philippines and Thailand asked for an extension.
The FDA gave cosmetics companies until December 31, 2015 to voluntarily recall products containing the banned parabens.
“While the grace period has already come to an end, we still managed to find and buy 15 products that list either isobutylparaben or isopropylparaben or both among the product ingredients,” EcoWaste coordinator Thony Dizon said.
“We found them in skin lightening and moisturizing lotion, body wash, liquid hand soap and foot scrub cream,” he said.
He said of the 15 products, six were locally manufactured and the rest were imported from Canada and Indonesia.
Dizon said they also found US-made sun protection lotion products with isobutylparaben.
EcoWaste urged consumers to carefully read product labels and not buy products that list parabens as an ingredient.
EcoWaste wrote the FDA Center for Cosmetics Regulation and Research (CCRR) last January 18 asking the agency to “compel the concerned companies to immediately withdraw the above product and undertake other necessary legal measures to ensure industry compliance.” SFM
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 10:41 PM January 20, 2016
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