New data on PARSOL® 1789

PARSOL® 1789 (Butyl Methoxy dibenzoyl-methane) environmental profile was reviewed in a number of independent, chronic ecotoxicity studies. The conclusions from the studies, which were conducted by environmental experts from ECT Oekotoxikologie, demonstrate that PARSOL® 1789 has no toxic effect on fish or daphnids and is not considered to be a PBT substance [persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic] under EU REACH criteria. PARSOL® 1789 has been used widely in sunscreens for several decades. These new, scientific and fact-based findings cement its role for the future, by confirming its suitability for sun protection formulations that protect against the health effects of harmful UV light but also have a minimal environmental impact.

The findings form part of a comprehensive review prepared by environmental experts from ECT Oekotoxikologie (Germany) and published in “Science of the Total Environment”. For this review, the authors evaluated all available data on two representative and well-established UV filters, one of them is butyl methoxy dibenzoyl methane (PARSOL® 1789).

Based on reliable data at the different endpoints covered in their review, the authors found that PARSOL® 1789 did not fulfil PBT [persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic] or vPvB [very persistent, very bioaccumulative] criteria according to EU REACH. In their conclusions on aquatic toxicity, they summarized that “concentrations up to the water solubility limit were shown to be non-toxic to microorganisms, algae, daphnids and corals, and not acutely toxic to fish. Based on these data, no hazard was identified for PARSOL® 1789.”  Additional results of a chronic fish test performed under EU REACH were not available in time for the publication but have since confirmed that PARSOL® 1789 does not present an environmental hazard and no longer needs to self-classify under H413 ‘safety net’ criteria.

The review is the outcome of 3 years’ consortium work initiated by the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW) and funded by a small group of IKW members and UV-filter suppliers, including DSM. It was motivated by a desire to return to a scientific and fact-based discussion about UV filters at a time when consumers feel under growing pressure to strike the right balance between protecting themselves against harmful UV light and protecting the environment but cannot necessarily access reliable information.