The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has confirmed that cetylpyridinium chloride, a preservative used in oral hygiene products, skin lotions and deodorants, is safe for use at specific concentrations.

The committee noted in a scientific opinion that the compound could lead to skin, eye and oral mucosal irritation. As a result, the SSC has imposed limits to its concentration in various products.

Cetylpyridinium chloride can be used in mouthwashes to a concentration of up to 0.1 percent; up to 0.5% in all other oral hygiene cosmetic products; up to 0.2% in skin lotions and creams; and up to 2.0% in antiperspirant deodorants.

The committee warns that aggregate exposure to cetylpyridinium chloride from cosmetic products for oral and dermal applications, as well as through its use in solutions for the removal of microbial surface contamination of raw poultry products, could be of concern.