Government to Ban DBP in Cosmetics

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a common chemical found in beauty products could be banned for being a reproductive toxin. 


DBP is often used as a perfume solvent, skin emollient or plasticiser in nail polishes. Belonging to the group of chemicals known as phthalates, this chemical can be found in the cosmetic industry worldwide. There are no current restrictions on the manufacture, import or use of DBP in Australia, however, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification Assessment Scheme found no reports of the phthalate being manufactured as a raw material in Australia.

The chemical ban could come into effect as early as October 1 due to its classification as a reproductive toxin with long-term effects. According to the statement made by the Department of Health, repeat-dose toxicity studies on rodents showed testicular toxicity. Fertility and development rates were affected in the parents and following generations. This chemical is believed to be an endocrine disruptor, affecting the fertility rates of both men and women. It may be the reason causing a decline in fertility rates in developed countries.

According to the Department of Health, the inclusion of DBP in the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Poisons (Poisons List) is the most effective way to prevent its use in cosmetics.

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