Starting August 1, more than 2,200 types of cosmetic products that contain paraben, a widely used preservative in makeup and pharmaceutical products, must be recalled as they may have bad health effects on consumers, the Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAV) has requested.
The large-scale recall campaign affects 2,100 imported and 143 domestically produced products, according to the drug administration.
One the most commonly used preservatives in cosmetic products, parabens are chemically compounds of what is known as p-hydroxybenzoic acid.
Cosmetic products whose contents include five types of parabens, namely isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben and pentylparaben, are now banned from circulation on the market, according to the DAV.
Different parabens are usually used in combination to increase their effectiveness.
Businesses are given 15 days to pull all of such products from the market.
“Any businesses found to still trade these products after August 15 will receive hefty penalties,” the DAV said.
An expert from the DAV said the recall may negatively affect the operations of businesses, especially small cosmetic importers.
“But this will be a lesson to learn when it comes to doing business with health-related products,” he said.
Parabens have been added to the list of drugs and substances with limit usage, but most businesses have ignored the list, the expert added.
In fact, there has yet to be any warning against the undesirable effects of products that contain the said five parabens from scientific and health organizations, DAV deputy head Nguyen Tat Dat told reporters on Friday.
“The EU and Association for South East Asian Nations have not received any reports about the health effects of these products,” he admitted.
“However, the EU and ASEAN have decided that these products must be replaced by better substances, after considering the health risks the parabens may pose.”
With many famous cosmetic brands having paraben-containing products, Vietnamese make-up lovers are concerned about the recall.
“There are well-known brands such as Kose, Laniege, Lancom, L’Oreal, and Vichy, as well as domestic ones including Thorakao, Victory, V-day, and Topcare in the list of manufacturers whose products must be recalled,” N.T.H., a consumer, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“These firms produce all kinds of products, from skincare to shaving cream, which I think are used in every household.”
A shop attendant of the Laneige booth at Parkson shopping center in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, told Tuoi Tre on Friday the company’s products subject to the recall are no longer in stock.
Representatives from supermarkets in the city also said there are not so many products that must be recalled on sale in their chains.
Supermarkets have been notified about the recall in May, and have since asked cosmetic suppliers to stop sending new products included in the recall list, according to representatives from Co.op Mart, Big C and Lotte Mart.