SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Korea Bizwire) – As the permissible level for parabens on toothpastes for children has turned out to be much higher than that for other products including wet tissues for oral cleaning, many people are showing increasing concerns about any harmful effect from it and asking to lower the level.
According to a report released by Kim Yong-ik, a lawmaker of the main opposition party of New Politics Alliance for Democracy, the standard for acceptable usage level of parabens for children’s toothpaste is currently set at 0.2 percent, 20 times higher than that for wet wipes for oral hygiene with 0.01 percent.
Up until July this year, among the toothpaste products licensed by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, 86 products used parabens and about 12 million units in this category were manufactured and sold in the market. The ministry said none of the products contains more than 0.2 percent of parabens.
Parabens are a group of synthetic compounds commonly used as preservatives in a wide range of health, beauty and personal care products. However, some research results on parabens claimed that it can cause breast cancer or problems in male reproductive system.
Especially, as it is more harmful for infants and children, the Danish government banned its usage in products for children aged less than three and the EU recommended not to use it in products for infants aged less than six months.
According to another report released last year by the National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation under the ministry which surveyed 1,021 children, most of the subject showed parabens in their urine test and especially the age group between three to six showed far more paraben levels.
The report said, “Paraben is presumed to be an endocrine disruptor and can affect much sensitively to children in their growth period. It is urgently needed to figure out how much Korean children are exposed to paraben as it can cause immaturity of male reproductive system and female precocious puberty.”
Lawmaker Kim said, “The toothpaste and the oral wet tissues are used as the same purpose. It is nonsense that the permissible level for parabens is much higher for toothpaste than that of the wet tissue. The government should lower the acceptable usage level of parabens for toothpaste for children.”
Parabens is a term used within the vernacular of the specialty chemicals industry to describe a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid (also known as 4-hydroxybenzoic acid). Parabens are widely used as preservatives by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup, and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives. (Wikipedia)
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)