PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) is the term given to a large group of substances, with different properties.
PFAS can be used in some consumer products such as textiles, carpet, leather and paper and in industrial products such as paint and fire-fighting foam. These substances can end up in the soil during production, their use and in the waste phase and they do not easily degrade in nature. High concentrations of PFAS in our environment can have an adverse effect on the environment and our health. That is why the use of PFAS is strictly limited at UK and European level.
We care about the safety of our consumers and the environment. All ingredients in cosmetics undergo a thorough safety assessment before being introduced to the market and every single cosmetic product must be approved by a safety expert before being sold. Compliance with the regulation is enforced in the UK by Trading Standards. All our ingredients must meet the highest standards of purity, quality and safety.
PFAS are rarely found in cosmetic products. Occasionally, related substances are used to make cosmetics easier to apply or more water resistant, for example. However, the concentrations of PFAS that can be found in cosmetics are extremely low and must be safe.
CTPA is aware of the environmental concerns associated with PFAS. As a responsible industry, we welcome work currently underway at European level to restrict a number of PFAS substances to trace levels.
The UK cosmetics industry is currently working with the UK Environment Agency to help the agency better understand sources and pathways of PFAS chemicals to the environment and to ensure a high level of protection for the environment that we all share.