Lonza Emphasizes Importance of Preventing Microbial Contamination Following Burkholderia Cepacia Outbreak


Blackley (UK) - 20 June 2018
Lonza is emphasizing the importance of preventing microbial contamination by incorporating targeted, compatible and effective preservatives in consumer product formulations following a number of personal care product recalls due to contamination with the pathogenic Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia cepacia.

In May 2018 a skin-cleansing foam was recalled due to a Burkholderia cepacia outbreak across a number of U.S. states. Additionally, topical skin-protectant cloths were recalled in multiple countries in August 2016 and baby wipes were recalled in the United States in October 2014 as a result of previous contamination scares involving this same organism.

Microbial contamination caused by species like Burkholderia cepacia in consumer products is a key public health issue,” said Phil Hindley, Head of Global Marketing, Preservation. “The resulting recall can become a critical business issue, with negative impacts associated with the management of the recall, including physical loss of product and packaging, additional shipping requirements, destruction and disposal of product, and potential damage to brand equity.”

“Preservatives…in cosmetics…reduce the risk of microbial contamination of the product and … ensure the product remains suitable and safe during shelf-life and the period of their use by consumers,” according to the International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation (ICCR) Working Group on Cosmetic Product Preservation. “Without the use of preservatives, cosmetic products – just like food and other products handled directly by consumers – can become contaminated with microorganisms, leading to product spoilage, loss of product performance, and possibly irritation, infections or other adverse health reactions to the consumer.”(1)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that “Companies and individuals who manufacture or distribute cosmetics are legally responsible for the safety of their products.”(2) This obligation includes ensuring that the cosmetic products they market are free from microbial contamination and safe to use. The FDA continues by outlining several ways a cosmetic can become contaminated with microorganisms:
  • - “Contaminated raw materials, water or other ingredients;
  • - Poor manufacturing conditions;
  • -  Ingredients that encourage growth of microorganisms, without an effective preservative system;
  • - Packaging that doesn’t protect a product adequately;
  • - Poor shipping or storage conditions;
  • -  Consumer use, such as the need to dip fingers into the product."(2)
Broad Array of Preservatives
Lonza is committed to supporting the global consumer product industry and the finished product manufacturers by offering the broadest array of preservatives for use in cosmetics and other consumer products.

In fact,” Hindley said, “select preservatives within the Geogard® and Mikrokill® portfolios have been specifically shown to be active against the pathogen Burkholderia cepacia.

Lonza preservatives offer wide global acceptance and regulatory compliance, as well as broad spectrum antimicrobial efficacy, robust data packages and extensive substrate compatibility.

For information on Preservatives, contact Phil Hindley, Head of Global Marketing, Preservation.

(1) ICCR Working Group on Cosmetic Product Preservation (https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/15281/attachments/1/translations/en/renditions/native)
(2) FDA, Microbiological Safety and Cosmetics (https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/PotentialContaminants/ucm433748.htm).

About Lonza Consumer Product Ingredients – Personal Care
Part of Lonza’s Consumer Product Ingredients business unit, the Personal Care business is a world’s leading supplier of active antidandruff agents, with its Zinc Omadine® product considered the gold standard in the antidandruff shampoo market. Lonza Personal Care also supplies a wide array of other hair- and skin-care products, including biotechnology-derived active ingredients, preservatives for use in certified natural and organic products, specialty esters, functional ingredients and more. More information about these products can be found at www.lonza.com/personalcare.

About Lonza
Lonza is one of the world’s leading and most-trusted suppliers to the pharmaceutical, biotech and specialty ingredients markets. As an integrated solutions provider, Lonza is boosting its value creation along and beyond the healthcare continuum with a strong focus on patient healthcare, consumer preventive healthcare and consumer's healthy environment.

Lonza harnesses science and technology to create products that support safer and healthier living and that enhance the overall quality of life. With the recent Capsugel acquisition, Lonza now offers products and services from the custom development and manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients to innovative dosage forms for the pharma and consumer health and nutrition industries.

Benefiting from its regulatory expertise, Lonza is able to transfer its know-how from pharma to hygiene and fastmoving consumer goods all the way to coatings and composites and the preservation and protection of agricultural goods and other natural resources.

Founded in 1897 in the Swiss Alps, Lonza today is a wellrespected global company with more than 100 sites and offices and approximately 14,500 full-time employees worldwide. The company generated sales of CHF 5.1 billion in 2017 with a CORE EBITDA of CHF 1.3 billion. Further information can be found at www.lonza.com.

« back