European regulation on Lilial and Zinc pyrithione


As of March 1, 2022, two common cosmetic ingredients are banned for use in the EU. They are Butylphenyl Methylpropional (Lilial) and Zinc pyrithione.

Omnibus Act IV

On November 3, 2021, the European Commission published the Omnibus Act IV (Regulation (EU) 2021/1902) that foresees the prohibition of 23 cosmetic ingredients. Among them there are Lilial and Zinc pyrithione.

The bans apply as of March 1, 2022. As of that date, cosmetics that contain these ingredients:

– Cannot be placed on the EU market anymore;

– Must be removed from shelves if already on the EU market.

The European Commission has prohibited these ingredients because they were classified as CMR substances in the 15th Adaptation to Technical Progress (ATP)*. In particular, Lilial and Zinc pyrithione have been identified as CMR of category 1B. They are presumed to be toxic for reproduction based on animal studies.

The bans in GB and NI

In Northern Ireland, where the EU Cosmetics Regulation fully applies, Lilial, Zinc pyrithione, and the other ingredients are prohibited for use as of March 1, 2022.

On the other hand, in Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) the EU bans and restrictions on cosmetic substances do not immediately apply. However, the UK Government followed the EU and banned those ingredients in cosmetic products as of October 15, 2022.

Zinc pyrithione is a chemical compound that has been used in various personal care products, including shampoos, to treat dandruff and other scalp conditions. However, there have been concerns about its potential environmental impact.

There have been several studies that have investigated the environmental impact of zinc pyrithione. One study published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research found that zinc pyrithione can be toxic to aquatic organisms, including algae, crustaceans, and fish. The study found that even low concentrations of zinc pyrithione can have negative effects on aquatic life, and that the chemical can accumulate in sediment and persist in the environment.

Another study published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry found that zinc pyrithione can cause oxidative stress and DNA damage in fish, which can have negative effects on their health and reproductive success. The study also found that the toxicity of zinc pyrithione can be influenced by environmental factors such as temperature and pH.

Overall, these studies suggest that zinc pyrithione can have negative effects on aquatic ecosystems and that there is a need to limit its use in personal care products to minimize its environmental impact. As a result, there are restrictions on the use of zinc pyrithione in certain personal care products in some countries.

Key words:

Butylphenyl Methylpropional,Zinc pyrithione