Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT) is a widely popular cosmetic ingredient and used in the formulation of shampoos, hair conditioners, face powders, cleansing products, eyeliners, and skincare products. ZPT has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that can help treat dandruff, scalp psoriasis, and acne. ZPT inhibits the growth of yeast, which is the main reason for dandruff. Studies show that it helps in the treatment of hair loss. Zinc pyrithione is the most acceptable antidandruff substance for curly hair because it leads to less drying and stiffness. Zinc pyrithione is derived from the chemical element zinc and releases zinc ions, which has anti- inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Zinc pyrithione is used in over-the-counter (OTC) dandruff shampoo, but it should only be used topically. It can cause irritation or burning if it gets in the eyes, mouth, or nose.
According to the current regulations of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) 1984, ZPT is used as a preservative in rinse-off products (forbidden in oral hygiene products) in a concentration of up to 0.5% in general products and up to 1.0% in hair products. Moreover, Zinc Pyrithione is also allowed in a concentration up to 0.1% in leave-on hair products.
The SCCS finds that the substance is highly toxic and cannot agree to recommend any extension of its use unless safety data of ZPT on percutaneous absorption in man can be shown not to occur in normal skin, nor under conditions of inflammation or abrasion.
The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has adopted its final opinion on the safety of the cosmetic
(ZPT). Currently, SCCS on 4th March 2020 concluded that Zinc Pyrithione is safe in a concentration of a maximum 1% used as an anti-dandruff in rinse-off hair products. The present consensus by SCCS came after ZPT is subjected to several safety evaluations.
According to the conditions laid out in Article 15(d) of the Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of SCCS and taking into consideration of the scientific data provided, the committee considers Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT) as safe up to a maximum concentration of 1% when used as an anti- dandruff in rinse-off hair products.
Safety Evaluation of ZPT shows long term use of it cause neurological effects. Chronic toxicity for more than 12 months at mid and high doses includes impaired limbs, ataxia, impairment, and reduced body weight. It has a low potential to induce contact hypersensitivity. It is fatal on inhalation and causes severe eye irritation. Reports of reproductive safety data show adverse 2effects on development were most likely attributable to maternal toxicity. There was no evidence for a carcinogenic potential and no firm conclusion for genotoxicity or mutagenicity.
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- Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety on o- aminophenol(A14).Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_236.pdf .Accessed on 20 th Oct, 2020.