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Quality Digest


ISO Standard for Cosmetics

Published: Monday, August 27, 2007 - 22:00

(ISO: Geneva) -- From shampoo to toothpaste to make-up and skin cream, hundreds of thousands of cosmetic products will now benefit from improved quality and safety, thanks to a new standard published by the International Organization for Standardization.

Cosmetics are articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance. Most cosmetics don’t pose a health risk when the directions on the label are followed and when the product is used properly. However, contamination of cosmetics during the production process can cause adverse effects in certain individuals with sensitivities. These effects range from infections to severe allergic reactions.

ISO 18416:2007—“Cosmetics, Microbiology, Detection of Candida albicans,” will help reduce cases of infection from cosmetic products by providing laboratories with a microbiological examination to ensure their quality and safety.

“The presence of microorganisms in cosmetics may cause chemical changes and spoilage of the product or may cause an infection hazardous to the consumer,” says Mojdeh Rowshan Tabari, project leader and convenor of the working group that developed the standard. “It is vital, therefore, to ensure that cosmetics have been produced with the highest standards for quality and safety before they are put on the market for consumer use.”

ISO 18416:2007 gives guidelines for the detection and identification of Candida albicans, a microorganism that can cause skin and mucous membrane infections.

The new standard is likely to be used by laboratories involved in the control and inspection of cosmetics, laboratories from the cosmetic industry as well as various public or private laboratories detecting the presence of Candida albicans.

ISO 18416 is one of a series of standards being developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 217, Cosmetics, for the detection and identification of microorganisms in cosmetic products. The use of the standards will play an important role in the creation of safe cosmetic products.

For more information, visit http://www.iso.org/iso/en/commcentre/pressreleases/2007/Ref1069.html.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.