Saturday 17 August 2019

Lip harm? Warning about lip salve for children

Pucker up…without the balm?

The Dutch consumers association has asked the health minister to look at claims that lip balms sold for children may contain harmful ingredients.

Consumentenbond sent out an alert on Wednesday after its Belgian equivalent, Test Aankoop, claimed that some balms contained substances that it believes could be carcinogenic or damaging to health.

The balms it tested are available at Dutch mainstream pharmacies and stores such as Hema, Kruidvat and Claire’s, said the Consumentenbond in a news release.

‘The products are clearly aimed at children, with flavours such as strawberry [and] cola, and packaging with Disney princesses, Hello Kitty and Minions,’ it said. ‘Of the 21 lip balms tested, 15 contained possible carcinogens. Test Aankoop advises against buying these products.’


The Consumentenbond points out that lip balms can be swallowed, particularly if they are sweet, and said the test findings were ‘alarming’.

It has asked junior health minister Bruno Bruins to look into the claims, and whether the ingredients lists give clear enough information. It has also asked him to campaign for tougher European rules on such products.

The substances it is concerned about are are mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH). The two consumer organisations advise parents and children to avoid lip balms with these products, which it claims are not listed on packaging.

The Belgian body did similar tests on adult lip balms in 2017, and recommended against buying certain brands for the same reason.

The AD has published what it calls a ‘black list’ of balms that were flagged up in the tests. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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