Microbiological contamination of cosmetic products - observations from Europe, 2005-2018

Background Although cosmetic products are not expected to be fully aseptic, their potential microbiological contamination might be dangerous, especially for immunocompromised patients. The extent of such contamination of cosmetics in Europe is poorly studied. Objectives The objective of this study was to explore whether microbiologically contaminated cosmetic products are available for sale in Europe and what type of contamination was reported. Methods We searched the European Union Rapid Information System for dangerous non-food products (Rapex), a database of non-compliant products among 31 European countries, to identify microbiologically contaminated cosmetics reported between 2005 and 2018, and present a detailed summary of these notifications. Results In the years 2005-2018, 104 reports on microbiologically contaminated cosmetics were identified. Twenty of them were products for children. The majority of the products (65.38%) were produced in Rapex member states. In most cases, contamination was caused by Gram-negative bacteria (59.62%), mostly Pseudomonas spp. (35.58%) and Enterobacter spp. (11.54%). Conclusions Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria are the most common microbiota contaminating cosmetic products in Europe. Most of the reported microbiologically contaminated cosmetics originated from European countries.

Published in:
Journal Of The European Academy Of Dermatology And Venereology
Jul 01 2019

 Record created 2019-07-18, last modified 2019-07-25

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