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[Updated] South Korea Bans THB in Cosmetics

Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 11, 2023, and was updated on February 18, 2024, as per the latest developments. 

As released by MFDS, the Regulation on Safety Standards, etc. for Cosmetics is finalized on February 7, 2024. The authority officially bans the 1,2,4-trihydroxy benzene (1,2,4-트리하이드록시벤젠) (Cas No. 533-73-3) in cosmetics. 

On December 7, 2023, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety(MFDS) proposed the amendments to the Regulation on Safety Standards, etc. for Cosmetics1, in order to designate 1,2,4-trihydroxy benzene (THB) as a prohibited ingredient in cosmetics.

Following the safety verification results conducted by the Cosmetic Ingredient Safety Evaluation Committee, the genotoxicity potential of THB cannot be ruled out. Therefore, the MFDS plans to ban THB in cosmetics in the regulation.  

Once the amendment is in effect, THB will not be allowed for use in cosmetics. However, according to the authority, products that have already been manufactured prior to the amendment can be sold until October 1, 2024.

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