Gamma Butyrolactone Ban Proposed

To produce an interim scheduling decision, the delegate of the Secretary of the Department of Health invites the public to submit their comments on the proposal to restrict the use of gamma butyrolactone in the manufacture of cosmetics and other types of products. Submissions will be accepted until September 11, 2014 while the interim decision is expected to be released on February 5, 2015.

The valid comments submitted will be considered by relevant expert advisory committees. For submissions relating ban of the use of gamma butyrolactone in cosmetics and other products, these will be examined by the joint committee of the Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling (ACCS) and the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS). The ACCS and ACMS will then make recommendations to the delegate relevant to the proposed amendment. Ultimately, the delegate will make an interim scheduling after considering the advice of advisory committees.

In addition, the DOH also encourages the public to make comments whether to have a separate entry for gamma butyrolactone in either Appendix C or in Schedule 9. Schedule 9 includes prohibited substances. On the other hand, Appendix C contains substances other than those enumerated in Schedule 9. Prohibited substances are harmful to health and are restricted from sale, supply or use. Any amendments in the entry of gamma butyrolactone will be incorporated in the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) also known as the Poisons Standard.

The Poisons Standard has nine distinct schedules of substance categories. These categories represent the degree of risk associated with the substance. Furthermore, they recommend the extent of control over a substance’s availability to the public.

Some of the proposals that will also be considered are as follows:

  • Naproxen: Proposal to include naproxen in Appendix H
  • Paracetamol in combination with Ibuprofen: Proposal to include paracetamol when combined with ibuprofen in Appendix H
  • Benzydamine: Proposal to exempt from scheduling benzydamine in preparations for topical use