The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) publishes opinion on highly refined mineral oils in cosmetics.

The BfR published in 2018 a risk assessment on the use of Mineral  hydrocarbons (MOSH and MOAH) in cosmetic products. The assessment was  performed according to method IP346, designed in the 1980s as a  preliminary test to predict mineral oils carcinogenic potential, when in  contact with the derma.

The EU Cosmetic Regulation (No 1223/2009) allows for the presence of  mineral oils in cosmetic products only in case all the refining process  of the initial non-carcinogenic ingredient is known and accurately  tracked. The purpose of this is to avoid that mineral oils which assumed  carcinogenic properties in the purification process – and therefore  become carcinogenically active – would be used in cosmetic products.

The opinion of the BfR assessment is that, considering the data and the scientific knowledge available,  there is no clear evidence that cosmetic products containing Mineral  Hydrocarbons are not considered responsible for their accumulation in  the human body through dermal absorption. When ingestion through  lip-care care products was considered, the BfR aligned itself to Recommendation No. 14 published by Cosmetics Europe in October 2018, stating that no health risk would derive from oral intake of mineral oils, if manufacturers would act in compliance with Cosmetics Europe document and use only those ingredients for which an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) value have been derived by JECFA and EFSA specialised committees.

Claudio VALLE

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