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Unfounded Fears Over Perfume
1st September 2008
You might have seen some headlines today raising questions over the safety of perfumes and other cosmetics for the unborn children of pregnant women. This follows comments made by Professor Richard Sharpe from the Medical Research Council ahead of a speech he is giving this week.
We are concerned that this media coverage might alarm some people, particularly at a time when they should be receiving reassurance and avoiding stress during pregnancy. We’d like to give you a few additional facts about this issue.
- The research was carried out on rats. It is not surprising that feeding large doses of substances to animals will produce negative effects. However, the important fact is that in normal cosmetic use, people are exposed to very low levels of these substances. They are in creams or perfumes which are applied to the outside of the skin rather than ingested, and so do not have the same negative effects.
- This research didn’t look specifically at cosmetic products. In addition the issues raised by the researcher are not new and have already been thoroughly investigated by scientists – both within the cosmetics industry and by independent scientific committees. All confirm the safety of cosmetics and perfumes.
- All cosmetic products are thoroughly tested, including taking into account that any product might be used by pregnant women. Cosmetic products are subject to stringent regulatory procedures, which ensure they are absolutely safe for people to use and enjoy.
Professor Richard Sharpe has expressed concern on the Sense about Science website over the reports in the consumer press noting that the research is not specific to cosmetic products or their ingredients and the findings were taken out of context and proportion.
Susan Seenan from Infertility Network UK has been quick to reassure the public and place the reports into perspective. For more information : www.infertilitynetworkuk.com.
The European cosmetic safety rules guarantee consumer protection and industry employee well-being through stringent regulation.