Final report on the safety assessment of human placental protein, hydrolyzed human placental protein, human placental enzymes, human placental lipids, human umbilical extract, placental protein, hydrolyzed placental protein, placental enzymes, placental lipids, and umbilical extract

Int J Toxicol. 2002:21 Suppl 1:81-91. doi: 10.1080/10915810290096405.


Various proteins, lipids, or other extracts from human or other animal placentas are described as cosmetic ingredients. Human Placental Protein comprises protein derived from human placentas. Placental Protein is derived from animal placentas. Similarly, Human Placental Lipids and Placental Lipids are the lipid fractions from the same source materials. Hydrolyzed Human Placental Protein and Hydrolyzed Placental Protein are produced from the respective protein extracts by acid, enzyme, or other hydrolysis methods. Human Placental Enzymes and Placental Enzymes are enzymes obtained by aqueous extraction of human or other animal placental material. Human Umbilical Extract and Umbilical Extract are unspecified extracts of material from human or other animal umbilical cords. Different materials called Human Placental Extracts and Placental Extracts, assumed to contain estrogenic hormones or other biologically active substances, are not recognized as cosmetic ingredients, even though the use of these ingredients in cosmetics have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Human-derived ingredients are prohibited from use under the provisions of the European Union cosmetics directive based on concerns about transmission of human spongiform encephalopathies and viral diseases, for example, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Umbilical Extract has precedent for unrestricted use in Japan, except for certain products. Most of these ingredients are described as hair-conditioning agents and miscellaneous skin-conditioning agents, although the umbilical extracts function as biological additives in cosmetics. Of the human-derived ingredients, only Human Placental Protein is currently reported to be used. Animal-derived placental proteins, hydrolyzed proteins, lipids, and enzymes were all currently reported to be used. No current uses of the umbilical extracts were reported. Most of the available data relates to placental derivatives that appear to have estrogenic or other biological activity. The one clinical study that appears to utilize proteinaceous material only reported no irritant reaction. Clearly, the available data are insufficient to support safety of these ingredients in cosmetics. The additional data needed include (1) skin sensitization at concentration of use; (2) gross pathology and histopathology in skin and other major organ systems associated with repeated exposures, and dermal reproductive and developmental toxicity data; (3) photosensitization; (4) one genotoxicity assay in a mammalian system; if positive, then a 2-year dermal carcinogenicity study using National Toxicology Program (NTP) methods may be needed; (5) ocular toxicity, if available. Any studies should be done on all ingredients unless chemical analysis data show similarity among ingredients. Because there is confusion and concern about the use of substances with estrogenic or other biological activity in cosmetic formulations, it was concluded that none of these ingredients used in cosmetics should deliver any metabolic/endocrine activity. In addition, any current use of these ingredients should be free of detectable pathogenic viruses or infectious agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Cosmetics / adverse effects*
  • Cosmetics / chemistry
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Pregnancy Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy Proteins / chemistry
  • Tissue Extracts / adverse effects*
  • Tissue Extracts / chemistry
  • Toxicity Tests
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Cosmetics
  • Pregnancy Proteins
  • Tissue Extracts