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Public Health (05-07-2012)

Nano Guidance for cosmetic products now available

Brussels , 6 July 2012 - The Commission published today the Guidance on the Safety Assessment of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics. The document was drafted by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) to help the cosmetics industry comply with article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products , which is due to enter into force on 11 July 2013.

From 11 January 2013, the cosmetics industry will have to notify to the Commission ,through the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal, all cosmetic products containing nanomaterials, six months prior to placing them on the market. They will also have to provide specific data relevant for risk assessment purposes, which the Commission will submit to the SCCS, in case it has concerns. A checklist of required data has been included in the new Guidance to help them do so.

The publication adds to the existing Notes of Guidance from SCCS which already provide generic instructions to the cosmetics industry for the testing and safety evaluation of cosmetic ingredients. However, the new Guidance applies only to nanomaterials.

In light of the rapid advances in the field of nanotechnology and the ever increasing scientific knowledge about the safety of nanomaterials, the present Guidance is likely to be updated regularly.

Background

Nanotechnologies open new perspectives for useful innovation in cosmetics. The European Commission Scientific Committees have produced a number of documents that provide guidance on aspects to be considered in the health risk assessment of manufactured nanomaterials. However, experience with the assessment of nanomaterials is still limited. The on-going risk assessments by the European Commission SCCS on three specific nano-sized substances used as UV filters in cosmetics are the first such assessments in the EU and globally.

In addition to the notification requirement described above, the Cosmetics Regulation requires labelling of nanomaterials (name of the ingredient, followed by ‘nano’ in brackets) in the ingredients list . When there are concerns over the safety of a nanomaterial, the Commission will refer it to the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) for risk assessment.

Work of the SCCS

SCCS is an independent advisory body established to advise the Commission on issues associated with consumer safety. Its members are chosen on the basis of their scientific excellence.

Read the full Guidance on the Safety Assessment of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_s_005.pdf