Nitrosamine in cosmetics


What are Nitrosamines?

Nitrosamines are organic substances formed by the reaction of an amine with a nitrosing agent, such as nitrites.

How can Nitrosamines be formed in cosmetics?

Nitrosamines may be formed in cosmetic and personal care products only if they contain both an ingredient that acts as a Nitrosating agent and an amine ingredient, and they are together under manufacturing or storage conditions that favor nitrosamine formation.

Why are we concerned about Nitrosamines?

Nitrosamines are a class of compounds that have been known for over 100 years. The potential carcinogenicity of nitrosamines has been well studied and of the compounds tested, approximately 90% have been shown to be carcinogenic when administered at high dosages across a number of animal species. As a result of these findings, nitrosamines are considered to be carcinogenic to humans. Cosmetic and personal care products are formulated to eliminate and reduce the formation of nitrosamines.  Most products do not contain any nitrosamines and if they do occur, the levels are typically very low and do not present any health risk to consumers.  Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the European cosmetics trade association (Cosmetics Europe) have issued guidance to manufacturers on how to keep nitrosamines from forming during the manufacturing process.

Why are we concerned about Nitrosamines?

Nitrosamines in cosmetics can be detected and determined through a recognized and qualified testing laboratories.
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