Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Weekday Wonderings: Why does the EU restrict the use of liquid Germall Plus?

In this post, Preservatives: Liquid Germall Plus, zignorp asks: I went to Lotioncrafter to order more liquid germall plus, and I notice that in the EU it's restricted from being used in body lotion or body cream. Do you have any idea why that is? 

I contacted Jen at Lotioncrafter, and she sent me so much great information, which you'll see linked below. It seems that it to do with one ingredient in liquid Germall Plus, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.

This is from the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food products Intended for Consumers (July 1, 2004): Considering the biological and physiological properties of iodine in potentially different populations at risk in Europe, the SCCNFP is of the opinion that the daily bioavailable intake of iodine from cosmetic products should not exceed 20% of the recommended daily intake of 150 μg (This is, for example, equivalent to approximately 0.002% IPBC in all cosmetic products at a daily use of 18 g and at a percutaneous absorption rate of 20%). 

This opinion is based on the idea that IPBC contributes iodine to our bodies that can be absorbed through the skin. There's 0.4% IPBC in liquid Germall Plus. If we use 0.5 grams liquid Germall Plus in 100 grams of lotion, we would have 0.002 grams IPBC. If we used 18 grams of lotion we'd use 0.36 mg IPBC. 20% or 0.20 is absorbed, so we are at 0.072 mg or 72 μg. I'm guessing that there's something like 30 μg iodine in this 72 μg IPBC, so that's how they work out the math? (I wasn't able to find out this last bit...)

I've seen the suggestion that it not be used for lotions and creams, and I'm guessing that's because a leave on product will see more absorption of the preservative than a rinse off product, which makes sense. But there are things we leave on our skin that aren't lotions and creams - toners, gels, facial sera, and other water based things - that are accounted for above under the word "all cosmetic products". So I'd say play it safe and avoid it in all leave on products unless you see otherwise. (This only applies to people selling things. If you're using it at home for yourself, make your own decisions.)

For us Canadians, the government suggests we aim for 150 μg a day, and don't go over 1100 μg a day. I think we're well within this limit with using some liquid Germall Plus now and then. The suggested intake for Americans is the same at 150 micrograms a day. 

Why does the EU suggest this while North American governments don't? I have no idea, to be honest. But it doesn't mean liquid Germall Plus is bad. I see sites all the time implying that if something isn't used or allowed in the EU it's bad - I'm looking at you, Food Babe - but that's not the case. I can't bring Kinder eggs into the States, but that doesn't mean they're poisonous or deadly, and it doesn't mean that Canada doesn't care about its citizens because we sell it here. It just means there are different standards and regulations in different countries.

As a final thought...18 grams a day a normal amount of various products to use in a day? I honestly don't know. I have given this some thought and I have no idea how much I use...but I'll be keeping track for a while out of curiosity. Anyone out there have some ideas? I'm really curious about it.

11 comments:

Carol Ann Elisen said...

Thank you for looking into this! I have often wondered as well about the cumulative effect of all the products we are using (we are a dry-skinned family living in an area with very drying winters).

Melanie Wilhelm said...

I'm so new this text should be green. Does the EU find Optiphen Plus safe for lotions? Thank you so much for always giving us so much valuable information, you are my GURU! <3<3<3
Sincerely Mel

Erin Storm said...

Ugh, Food Babe.
According to her, because my kid can't pronounce iodopropynyl butylcarbamate it MUST be bad!

Jini Lopez said...

Hi Susan,

Would the rule of not using it on leave on products also apply to hair products? Hair is dead for what I have read so would this affect?

Best regards,

Jini López

Jini Lopez said...

Hi Susan,

Would the rule of not using it on leave on products also apply to hair products? Hair is dead for what I have read so would this affect?

Best regards,

Jini López

Danuta Kilar said...

18 grams of it, is like a l bottle of product, I use all my products and there is maybe less than a gram daily; product with 0.5% of germall.....
Unfortunately we have so many different opinions, it is tough to know what right and what is not. I am using Germall in everything

firegirl said...

In Germany most people use iodised salt to prevent illnesses caused by iodine deficiency. I am wondering whether that has anything to do with the LGP ban - in combination with iodised salt it might lead to too much iodine intake...

Thanks,
firegirl!

Sarah-Antonia said...

Hi, I am also UK based and have used Gracefruit GLASGOW. When I sent 2 of my recipe's to a cosmetic scientist for assessment 1 was rejected because of using the preservative. Liquid Germall is okay in formulations if the leave on product is for small areas. In my case it was for a men's aftershave lotion, however, for the body lotion the preservative was rejected and I was told it wouldn't pass testing. I'm now looking into other alternatives! So any suggestions would be welcome!!!

Sarah-Antonia said...

Sorry auto correct that meant to say Gracefruit GPL!!

firegirl said...

In Germany cooking salt with iodine is recommended by health professionals and very popular. I think that's true for other EU states, whereas in the UK is almost unheard of. Maybe the authorities are worried that some people will get too much iodine when using iodised salt and there is iodine present in cosmetics?

Heather Behan said...

Hi Susan,

I just deleted my comment from above where I was asking if you could recommend an alternative to Gracefruit's (UK) version of Liquid Germall Plus. I realised later this was a rather unfair request to make of you considering the wealth of information you already provide on preservation, plus the fact that opinions vary worldwide. So I shall read again what's on your blog and other sources and try to find an alternative to LGP, especially as I should like to go as organic as possible. The powers-that-be have apparently determined that LGP is safe for small areas but that it shouldn't be used for large areas when a larger amount is used, leave-on, regularly. Who knows? But they have cast doubt on what has up until now been regarded by me as a very good all-round preservative. I'm sure we'll all keep each other posted on this interesting and important subject.

Thank you again Susan for all you do for us and please take care and look after yourself during this terribly difficult time for your family.

Heather x