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Sunday 1 October 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# Europe
Baby wipes, shower gel and makeup on harmful products list
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has flagged around 200 items.

- Updated 16.00

THE HEALTH PRODUCTS Regulatory Authority (HPRA), a body which regulates medicines, medical devices and other health products, has issued list of around 200 potentially harmful items.

The information relates to items available across the EU – the majority of which will not have appeared on the Irish market.

The list covers items that have been released to the market between September 2013 and February 2015.

A number of products – including children’s makeup and shower gel – have been flagged as potentially harmful to consumers.


On the list are baby wipes which contains Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC). The chemical is thought to be potentially harmful if inhaled and can cause skin irritation. While used in beauty products, the chemical has also been used in the wood and paint industry. 

A number of items of children’s makeup also made their way onto the list.

One of these was a make-up set containing the chemical Rhodamine B – a product suspected to be a carcinogenic which also causes burning of the eyes, chest pains and excessive tearing.

One ingredient that appeared prominently in the list was hydroquinone, which is used in skin lightening products. The product can be used for the treatment of medical conditions but has the potential to cause the skin condition ochronosis.

A number of other skin treatment products were also found to contain mercury.

Of these products three were withdrawn while another was deemed safe for use once application instructions were correctly followed.


HPRA operates in conjunction with the European wide RAPEX system which coordinates with bodies in the different EU states to keep harmful items off the market.

The body gathers information through individuals reporting undesirable side effects to them. Retailers and distributors are encouraged to quarantine any stock they become aware of that is on the prohibited list and contact the HPRA.

In a statement, the HPRA, said:

If the product is found on the Irish market appropriate warnings concerning safe use may be placed on the packaging or at point of sale. Alternatively, the product may need to be withdrawn from the market.  Where necessary, further information for consumers and economic operators in respect of such products will be published by the HPRA.

The full list of the products can be found here.  

First published 09.40am

Read: A handwash that causes infection and other stuff that could have harmed Irish people in 2014

Also: Around 20,000 dangerous toys blocked from the Irish market last year

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