Allianz and Praedicat Point Fingers at “Toxic Trio” in Cosmetics – #1 is dibutyl

A few far sighted liability insurers are paying attention to molecular science as to alleged or actual toxins, often aided by the ground-breaking work at Praedicat to assess the medical and scientific literature as to various actual or alleged toxins. See this February 7, 2014  post regarding Praedicat’s work and vision.

Some also are taking their concerns public. Thus, Allianz and Praedicat just issued a trio of publications reporting on concerns related to a so-called “toxic trio” as related to cosmetics and “personal care” products.  See:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180912005640/en/%E2%80%9CToxic-Trio%E2%80%9D-Cosmetics-Creates-Emerging-Liability-Risks

https://www.agcs.allianz.com/insights/white-papers-and-case-studies/emerging-liability-risks-toxic-trio/

https://www.agcs.allianz.com/assets/PDFs/risk%20bulletins/AGCS_Praedicat_Toxic_Trio_Risk_Bulletin.pdf

What’s the gist? The following:

“CHEMICAL DANGERS IN PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS ALLIANZ GLOBAL CORPORATE & SPECIALTY®Increasing scientific, regulatory, and consumer concerns means increasing risk for manufacturers and suppliers of various personal care products. The potential for synergistic effects of a so-called “toxic trio”of hazardous chemicals used in these products threatens to expose them to latent liabilities. This risk bulletin by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and Praedicat, a leading science-based risk analytics company, reviews possible risk exposures and potential impacts of this trio of chemicals to businesses and the insurance industry.

Among the widely-used chemicals today, three have gained some notoriety, primarily for their use in nail varnish: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde –or the so-called “toxic trio”which are prevalent in the personal care industry.”

As to DBP, they said, among other things:

“As a result, body lotions, perfumes, and nail varnishes containing DBP, because they are applied directly to the skin, have a clear dermal exposure route that theoretically allows DBP to enter the bloodstream, although until recently it was unclear whether it actually did so. Three separate peer-reviewed studies in the last decade have shown that it does [Janjua, N.R. 2008; Pan, T.L. 2014; Sugino, M. 2017]. Collectively, this research demonstrates that DBP can cross the skin but that the transport rate is likely to depend on the activity of certain enzymes that start the process of metabolizing DBP into its breakdown products.”

As to DBP, as shown by the chart below, Praedicat sees the science worsening for defendants as to causation as to “endocrine” system diseases and conditions. To me, the most innovative part of Praedicat’s work is assessing the current state of the science as to disease causation, and where it will go.


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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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