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Public Health (11-04-2014)

Scientific Opinion on Aluminium in cosmetic products published today

Today, the Commission’s independent Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) published its Opinion on Aluminium in cosmetics such as lipstick, deodorants and toothpastes.

Aluminium is a known systemic toxicant at high doses. Following reports and concerns raised, the SCCS was requested to assess the possible risk for human health due to the presence of aluminium in cosmetics, in particular in products such as antiperspirants and deodorants, lipstick and toothpastes, considering the exposure from other sources such as food and food supplements.

In case the estimated exposure of aluminium caused concern, the SCCS was further asked to recommend safe concentration limits for the presence of aluminium in cosmetics.

After studying the available literature on exposure to, and health risks from aluminium in cosmetic products, the SCCS expressed several considerations. For example:
• Aluminium in the levels reached with cosmetic use is unlikely to be carcinogenic.
• There is no evidence that using antiperspirants can lead to levels of aluminium that would be harmful to health.
• There is no plausible evidence that the use of aluminium containing cosmetics and skin care products can increase the risk of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Regarding safe concentration limits, SCCS concluded that there was too little data to draw conclusions, and that internal exposure to aluminium after skin application could be better determined with a human exposure study under real-life conditions.

To read the full Opinion:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_153.pdf
For more information on the SCCS:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/index_en.htm