About this Publication on Tooth Whiteners & Oral Hygiene Products
- Source for this Publication
- The Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP)
- Background to the SCCP opinion on tooth whiteners
- Specific questions asked by the European Commission to the SCCP
1. Source for this Publication
The material content of the texts on Level 3 are directly sourced from
The Levels 1 & 2 were written by the GreenFacts editorial team and the DG Health and Consumers of the European Commission.
2. The Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP)
The Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) was set up in 2004 by the European Commission to provide the Commission with unambiguous scientific advice on the safety of consumer products (non-food products intended for the consumer). It replaced the former Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products (SCCNFP).
The SCCP advice is intended to enable risk managers to take the adequate and required actions in order to guarantee consumer protection.
The SCCP addresses questions in relation to the safety and allergenic properties of cosmetic products and ingredients with respect to their impact on consumer health, toys, textiles, clothing, personal care products, domestic products such as detergents, and consumer services such as tattooing.
The SCCP consists of a maximum of 19 members. There is also a reserve list made up of candidates found suitable for a position in a Scientific Committee but not appointed. The members of the SCCP are appointed on the basis of their skills and experience in the fields in question, and consistent with this a geographical distribution that reflects the diversity of scientific problems and approaches in the European Union (EU). The experts' term of office is three years and is renewable for a maximum of three consecutive times. In agreement with the Commission, the Scientific Committees may turn to specialised external experts.
The SCCP complies with the principles of independence, transparency and confidentiality. The members therefore make a declaration of commitment to act in the public interest and a declaration of interests; requests for opinions, agendas, minutes and opinions are published; work and publications are done with regard to the need for commercial confidentiality.
By mid-2008 the SCCP had adopted close to 150 opinions or position papers on topics such as fragrances, hair dies, consumer products, preservatives, UV filters, and other substances.
For further information on the SCCP see:
3. Background to the SCCP opinion on tooth whiteners
Previously the Scientific Committee on Cosmetics and Non Food Products intended for Consumers (SCCNFP), the predecessor of the SCCP, in its opinion of 23.06.1999 (SCCNFP/0158/99), reviewed the use of hydrogen peroxide in tooth pastes and mouth rinses. It then concluded that “an increase of hydrogen peroxide (and equivalent) in tooth paste and mouth-rinses to 3.6% is not permissible […]”. In parallel, in its opinion of 17.02.1999 (SCCNFP/0058/99), the SCCNFP considered the use of hydrogen peroxide (and equivalent) in tooth whitening products. This opinion has been reviewed at several occasions.
4. Specific questions asked by the European Commission to the SCCP
Currently, Council directive 76/768/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products (the Cosmetics Directive) provides in Annex III, part 1, n°12 a limit of 0.1% of hydrogen peroxide (or equivalent for substances that release hydrogen peroxide) in oral hygiene products.
The Cosmetics Directive provides several options in order to ensure the safety of consumers when using cosmetic products. Those management options include:
- the requirement for a specific labelling;
- the requirement for the first use of a product by a professional;
- the requirement for the exclusive use by the professional.
In order to determine which of these options is the appropriate one, the Commission services need to know from the SCCP, possible concerns and how these concerns can be handled scientifically.