The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) has found that triclosan as a preservative at levels up to .3% is not safe in all cosmetic products. According to the committee, the ingredient is not safe at the given concentration in mouthwashes and leave-on products such as body lotion due to a higher absorption rate.
The committee came the the conclusion after reviewing toxicological and absorption data from industry representatives and a risk assessment by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
According to the committee, percuaneous absorption is high, about 23-28% of the applied dose, in ethanol, ethanol/water soap suspension or cream formulations. In addition, triclosan is highly absorbed in oral administration such as mouthwash contrary to its 5-10% absorption in toothpaste.
Before a final conclusion on triclosan's safety is reached, the committee plans to investigate the ability to develop resistance to the substance and cross-resistance by certain microorganisms.