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Commission launches public consultation on risks of nanomaterials in cosmetics [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on whether current EU risk assessment methodologies are appropriate for evaluating the risks associated with nanomaterials in cosmetic products.

Stakeholders are invited to give their views on a preliminary opinion is...
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on whether current EU risk assessment methodologies are appropriate for evaluating the risks associated with nanomaterials in cosmetic products.

Stakeholders are invited to give their views on a preliminary opinion issued by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP). It says that traditional risk assessment methods, such as hazard identification and characterisation, may not be suitable for some nanomaterials in make-up and other cosmetic products.

Nanomaterials can be divided into two groups: labile particles, which disintegrate when applied to the skin, or insoluble particles. For the labile group, the SCCP suggests that conventional risk assessment methodologies based on mass metrics may be adequate.

However, for insoluble particles, other metrics, such as the number of particles and their surface areas, as well as their distribution, would need to be assessed. The health risks associated with insoluble particles are of particular concern, says the Committee, because repeated application could lead to their accumulation in other parts of the body, such as the lungs.

The opinion offers two alternatives: either a new method should be developed, or the existing methodologies for hazard characterisation and exposure assessment should be validated. The SCCP also considers that nanomaterials, when used in the cosmetics industry, should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account their specific physical, chemical and surface characteristics.

The public consultation closes on 6 September.
Source: European Commission
Record Number: 27981 / Last updated on: 2007-07-04
Category: General Policy
Provider: EC