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2014 | 10 | 1 |

Article title

Formaldehyde may be found in cosmetic products
even when unlabelled


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Concomitant contact allergy to formaldehyde
and formaldehyde-releasers remains common among
patients with allergic contact dermatitis. Concentration
of free formaldehyde in cosmetic products within allowed
limits have been shown to induce dermatitis from shortterm
use on normal skin. The aim of this study was to investigate the formaldehyde
content of cosmetic products made in Lithuania.
42 samples were analysed with the chromotropic acid
(CA) method for semi-quantitative formaldehyde determination.
These included 24 leave-on (e.g., creams,
lotions) and 18 rinse-off (e.g., shampoos, soaps) products.
Formaldehyde releasers were declared on the labels of 10
products. No formaldehyde releaser was declared on the
label of the only face cream investigated, but levels of free
formaldehyde with the CA method was >40 mg/ml and
when analysed with a high-performance liquid chromatographic
method – 532 ppm. According to the EU Cosmetic
directive, if the concentration of formaldehyde is above
0.05% a cosmetic product must be labelled “contains
formaldehyde“. It could be difficult for patients allergic to
formaldehyde to avoid contact with products containing it
as its presence cannot be determined from the ingredient
labelling with certainty. The CA method is a simple and reliable method for detecting formaldehyde presence in
cosmetic products.








Physical description


2 - 2 - 2015
28 - 5 - 2015
7 - 7 - 2015


  • Vilnius University,
    Centre of Pulmonology and Allergology, Santariskiu 2, Vilnius LT-
    08661, Lithuania
  • Department of Occupational and Environmental
    Dermatology, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö
    SE-20502, Sweden
  • Vilnius University,
    Centre of Pulmonology and Allergology, Santariskiu 2, Vilnius LT-
    08661, Lithuania
  • Vilnius University,
    Centre of Pulmonology and Allergology, Santariskiu 2, Vilnius LT-
    08661, Lithuania
  • Department of Occupational and Environmental
    Dermatology, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö
    SE-20502, Sweden


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