High Throughput Analysis of Phthalates and Parabens in Cosmetics

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Jane Cooper
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Application Notes
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Application Notes
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Phthalates are esters of phthalic acid that have extensively been used as plasticizers to increase flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity in a wide variety of consumer and household products, such as children’s toys, electronics, clothes, flooring, wallpaper, and paints. Phthalates are also used, as plasticizers, solubilizers, or denaturants in cosmetics and personal care products, such as perfumes, nail polishes, and hair sprays. Many phthalates are classified as hazardous because of their effects on the reproductive system and their association with an increased risk of cancer.

Parabens are esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid, which due to their low volatility, high stability, antibacterial and antifungal properties, have been used as preservatives in cosmetics, personal care, pharmaceutical, food, and industrial products. Parabens have been associated with allergenic contact dermatitis and rosecea.

Triclocarban is an antibacterial and antifungal agent that is used in many cosmetic and personal care products, including soap, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and shaving cream. Triclocarban is also used in several consumer products including kitchen cutting boards, shoes, towels, and clothing, as well as in medical disinfectants and medical products. But there are several health concerns related to the use of triclocarban, including potential hormone and endocrine disruption, as well as its potential to contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.

In order to accommodate consumer demands for higher standards, many manufacturers are developing, and labeling cosmetic and personal care products ‘free from’ phthalates and parabens.

In this application note, we describe the method development, sample extraction, and mass spectral analysis of parabens, phthalates, and triclocarban using the ACQUITY UPLC H-Class System, coupled to the ACQUITY QDa Detector. Learn how mass detection can be used to achieve reliable analytical methods to unequivocally identify and quantify compounds such as phthalates, parabens, and triclocarban, during both method development stages, and during routine regulatory analysis.

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