The safety of the carbomer has been assessed by the Expert Panel on Ingredient Safety. The Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that carbomer polymers were safe as ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products.
In 2001, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the Expert Panel considered available new data on carbomer polymers and reaffirmed the above conclusion.
The Expert Panel reviewed acute oral studies showing that carbomer polymers have low toxicities when ingested. Minimal skin irritation and no to moderate eye irritation were observed. Sub chronic feeding studies with a carbomer polymer resulted in lower-than-normal body weights, but no abnormal changes were observed in the organs. Some gastrointestinal irritation and marked pigment deposition within specific cells in the liver, called Kupffer cells, were seen in studies with carbomer.
Clinical studies with carbomers showed that these polymers have low potential for skin irritation and sensitization at concentrations up to 100%. A carbomer polymer demonstrated low potential for phototoxicity and photo-contact allergenicity.
The carbomers may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.