French consumer group warns on potential risks of beauty products

PARIS Some creams, shampoos, after-shaves and toothpastes made by groups such as L’Oreal and Procter Gamble, may contain potentially harmful substances, according to a study by French consumer protection group UFC-Que Choisir.

UFC-Que Choisir on Monday published a list of 185 products it said contained substances that were legal, but could cause allergies, irritations or endocrinal disorders.

“In light of the absence of suitable European regulation, we want to put pressure on manufacturers through consumers’ purchasing behavior,” said Olivier Andrault, who ran the study for UFC-Que Choisir.

The study pointed, for example, to eight brands of baby wipes including L’Oreal’s Bebe Cadum and Mixa, Beiersdorf’s Nivea and Procter Gamble’s (PG) Pampers that contain phenoxyethanol, which it said could be toxic for the blood and liver.

In response to the study, the Federation of Cosmetics Makers (FEBEA) said beauty and hygiene products sold in France were safe and met European regulation, which it described as the most demanding in the world.

Nobody was immediately available for comment at Beiersdorf and PG, while L’Oreal said it was rigorously committed to the safety of all of its products.

“Our safety evaluation system is very robust and all our products and our ingredients are rigorously evaluated before they are put on the market, always in full conformity to the regulation in place,” L’Oreal said in a statement.

(Reporting by Pascale Denis; Writing by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Mark Potter)

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