A hot topic in constant evolution of late is the conservation of water-based products. On one hand there’s the search for products that are increasingly eco-friendly and natural, yet all this naturalness poses formulation challenges for manufacturers. This is why entire R&D and Marketing teams work together to develop products with a natural touch, which work well, look good and smell good, but above all else, have a long shelf-life.
Every water-based product must be protected by a robust system of preservatives that ensures the formulation will last on the shelves at the point of sale, but above all, once opened and handled it will maintain its original characteristics; be it a face cream, washing detergent, or wall paint. When we open and consume these products we expect them to remain as they are until finished or for several years on a freshly painted wall. This “guarantee” is provided by the preservative.
In addition to these technical formulation challenges, regulatory updates oblige manufacturers to abandon or limit certain active ingredients. Periodic examinations by regulatory bodies can bring about changes to the permitted levels of active ingredients such as preservatives requiring changes to be made in light of new scientific or toxological evidence. A recent example of which is with isothiazolinones, very effective preservatives used in both Industry and Cosmetics for decades but after recent toxicological discoveries their usage has now been increasingly restricted.
As far as regulations for preservatives in packaged products (BPR type 6), one of the latest modifications concerns the use of Methylisothiazolinone (MIT). A new regulation EU 2018/1480 came into force in May 2020 requiring products containing MIT to be classified with the following hazard statements:
- EUH 208 – Contains MIT. May produce an allergic reaction.
for concentrations above 1.5ppm (no CLP hazard pictogram required)
- H317 – May cause an allergic skin reaction.
For concentrations above 15ppm (with the CLP exclamation mark pictogram required)
For other isothiazolinones, the CLP criteria for both EUH 208 and H317 are:
For further information and ad hoc solutions don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts. They are ready to advise you the best products for your formulation, verifying their effectiveness through a Challenge test.