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Canada to restrict personal care and cosmetic preservatives

By Deanna Utroske

Last updated on 18-May-2016 at 17:17 GMT2016-05-18T17:17:33Z

Canada to restrict personal care and cosmetic preservatives

Health Canada has updated its Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist, and the new regulations will take effect in stages starting this June.

The federal department has revised its Hotlist to caution consumers about the potential dangers of using leave-on products formulated with both methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MI and MCI).

Warning, warning

Rinse-off products with the preservative ingredient combination aren’t included in the revised regulations. But leave-on ones from an array of categories like body care, skin care, color cosmetics, sun care, deodorant have raised concern.

According to an item on the forthcoming restrictions published on consumer symptoms resulting from the preservative include itching, rash, tender skin, cracked skin or blisters. And, “these symptoms may occur each time someone uses a product containing MI/MCI and may become more severe with repeated use.”

New rules

The Health Canada Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist already included an entry on MI and MCI. This latest update to the entry means that as of 14 June 2016 children’s products formulated with the preservatives should no longer be sold.

And at the start of next year, after 31 December 2016, no leave-on products formulated with MI and MCI should be sold.

Favored nation

Regulations vary widely by country and are ever changing. Even between neighbors as close as the US and Canada guidelines do not coincide. “The laws are not the same,” Gordon Greenwood, managing partner at law firm Maclaren Corlett LLP, recently told Cosmetics Design .

“You boil it down to the fact that there are different governments and government departments who have their own regulations,” he continued. “Historically - although we hope this is changing - there’s very little coordination between the two countries. And yet commercially you would think there’s no border at all.”

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