Microsoft word - oc3_desmedt_bart.doc
PBA-RDPA 2013 Bologna, 30 June – 3 July 2013
MARKET SURVEY OF ILLEGAL LIGHTENING COSMETICS ON THE BELGIUM MARKET
B. Desmedt1,² V. Rogies², P. Courselle1, J.O. De Beer1, K. De Paepe², E. Deconinck1
1Scientific Institute of Public Health (IPH), Brussels, Belgium
2Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium
During the last years, the EU market is flooded by illegal cosmetics via the Internet and a so-called
“black market”. Among these, skin-lightening products represent an important group. They contain,
according to the current European cosmetic legislation (Directive 76/768/EEC), a number of illegal active
substances including hydroquinone, tretinoin and corticosteroids . These may provoke as well local as
systemic toxic effects, being the reason for their banning from the EU market . To survey this market a
fast UHPLC-TOF screening method capable of detecting illegal and legal lightening actives in the wide
variety of existing lightening cosmetic formulations was used. All positive samples were quantified with
UHPLC-DAD. Both methods are able to detect the major illegal (hydroquinone, tretinoin and six
dermatologic active corticosteroids) and legal whitening agents, the latter having restrictions with aspect
to concentration and application (kojic acid, arbutin, nicotinamide and salicylic acid). The methods were
used to perform a market survey consisting out of 161 samples taken by inspectors at so called ethnic-
cosmetic shops and customs of air- and seaports. The most remarkable result is the detection of the very
potent corticosteroid, clobetasol propionate in 65 samples representing about 44% of the total sample
set. The illegal lightening agent tretinoin and hydroquinone were detected 18 and 17 times respectively.
With 8 samples containing more than 4% hydroquinone with two of these going as high as 12 and 16%.
It should be clear that despite the EU ban, products containing these ingredients can still be bought
through illegal circuits. Knowing that formulations usually are composed of combinations of the above
mentioned substances together with legal ingredients and penetration enhancers, their potential risk for
human health cannot be excluded, in particular after repeated and long-term exposure. An overview of
the number of samples positive for an illegal lightening agent is shown in figure 1.
Number of samples positive for an illegal lightening agents
 Eu, 2010, Commission Directive 2010/4/EU of 8 February 2010 Amending Council Directive 76/768/EEC, Official
Journal L 036, 26, 08 April 2010.
 S. Briganti, M. Ottaviani and M. Picardo, In: J. Nordlund, B.E. Raymond and V.J. Hearing (Eds.), The Pigmentary
System,Wiley-Blackwell, United Kingdom, 2006
, pp. 669.
Giacomo Puccini Libreto de Luigi Illica y Giuseppe GiacosaEstreno: Roma, 14 enero 1900, Teatro CostanziAño 1800. Iglesia de Sant'Andrea della ValleCavaradossi se queda a solas, inmerso en sutrabajo. Angelotti, seguro de que ya no hay nadie,extinguida república, se ha fugado del Castillosale de la capilla. Es sorprendido por el pintor,de Sant'Angelo donde estaba prisionero bajoquien lo
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