More and more substances used in cosmetic products are classified as suspected endocrine disruptors. Their presence in consumer products capable of interacting with the glandular system that regulates hormones in the human body has attracted growing attention as a new threat to health and safety.
Exposure to endocrine disruptors has been linked to a growing number of diseases that are stably increasing in the human population, including but not limited to obesity, infertility, learning disabilities. The mechanisms through which they act are not yet fully clear. Some involved metabolic pathways however have been identified and raise specific concerns due to both their cumulative and synergistic effects and to thereepeated and continuous nature of exposure to these substances.
Even though most of the endocrine active ingredients used daily are taken in concentrations that are considered safe, the possibility of cumulative effects and joint exposure to multiple interfering molecules is sufficiently worrisome to require additional precautions. A further concern is the presence of these substances in products intended for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
There is no current regulatory requirement for cosmetic raw materials and related finished products it is nonetheless evident that the cosmetic industry will soon to be faced with the regulation of these substances. Several European countries are already giving greater attention to these toxicological concerns. Specifically, the screening of these substances is already being carried out on solar products and detergents. Many of these substances have been classified as CMR: carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CLP Regulation No. 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council – Annex VI, part 3).
Verifying that our cosmetic products do not contain disruptors that may affect the endocrine system and therefore be harmful is a necessity in the interest of consumers, and a step that would allow to obtain a competitive advantage when the upcoming regulations are enacted.
Abich Srl, the Competence Center of the Lifeanalytics Group for the cosmetic sector, provides a service to determine the presence of endocrine disruptors in cosmetic products. The H295 “Steroidogenesis Assay” test, performed according to OECD 456, allows the identification of substances that interfere with the production of 17ß-estradiol and testosterone.
Although the concept of endocrine disruptors has been the subject of multiple researches since the 1990s, it is still unclear how to apply the findings and rework cosmetic procedures to improve health and safety.
The focus of this scientific article provides an overview of endocrine disruptors, and their effects while provide possible solutions to reduce related health risks.
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