European Union regulations limiting concentrations of butylparaben and propylparaben in cosmetics products have taken effect for all new stock as of April 16, 2015. The new requirements set a maximum concentra- tion of 0.14 percent for the two preservatives “when used individually or together,” in addition to banning their use in creams designed for the diaper area of infants.

The restrictions apparently follow Denmark’s 2011 decision to ban propyl and butylparaben in all products directed to children younger than age 3. “Preservatives in cosmetics serve a valuable function ensuring that the products we use on a daily basis are free from pathogens,” said European Commissioner for Consumer Policy Neven Mimica. “We need however to ensure that the preservatives guarantee the maximum degree of protection. With these measures consumers can be reassured that their cosmetics are safe.” See European Commission Press Release, September 26, 2014.