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Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel Reaffirms the Safety of Parabens Used in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products- Preservatives Vital to Product Integrity

For Immediate Release: 
March 7, 2012

 Contact: Kathleen Dezio, (703) 338-0646 or Lisa Powers, (202) 466-0489

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an independent panel of scientific and medical experts, reaffirmed this week at their public meeting that parabens, a family of preservatives used in cosmetics and personal care products, are safe. 

“The cosmetic industry formally requested that CIR re-examine the safety of parabens as they are used in cosmetics, and we are gratified that the panel has done so and confirmed the safety of these ingredients,” said Halyna Breslawec, chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council (the Council). 

In December 2011, the Council requested that CIR reexamine its review of parabens in light of two recent opinions by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS).  SCCS concluded, among other things, that some parabens are safe at current use levels but recommended that levels of others used be reduced. 

At its March 5-6, 2012 meeting, CIR carefully reviewed the SCCS opinions and concluded that there were little additional new data concerning parabens.  The panel voted to reaffirm its earlier conclusions that parabens are safe for use as cosmetic ingredients.  CIR initially reviewed the safety of parabens in 1984, and since then has continually examined newly available data related to the safety of these ingredients. Its last comprehensive report was published in 2008.

A summary of the CIR Expert Panel findings for the March 5-6 meeting will be posted on the CIR Web site ( within a few weeks.

For more information on cosmetic and personal care products, visit

Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council is the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry. Founded in 1894, the Council's more than 600 member companies manufacture, distribute, and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S.As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day, from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, lipstick and fragrance, personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.