Request for scientific opinions of SCCS: certain ingredients under review

In the beginning of February 2020, the EU Commission requested the scientific opinion of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) regarding the safety of several cosmetic ingredients. The SCCS’s advice enables the Commission to conduct proper risk management and take adequate actions to guarantee consumer protection.

Which ingredients will be reviewed?

The safety of the following ingredients was of concern to the Commission due to their potential endocrine disrupting properties:

  • Propylparaben, currently regulated as a preservative in a concentration up to 0.14 % (as acid);
  • Resorcinol, allowed as an oxidative hair dye in hair products and products intended for colouring eyelashes in a concentration up to 1,25 % and in hair lotions and shampoos in a concentration up to 0.5 %;
  • Octocrylene and Homosalate, currently regulated as a UV-filters in sunscreen products in a concentration up to 10 % for their individual concentrations;
  • Benzophenone-3, a UV-filter in sunscreen products, allowed with maximum 6% concentration. Benzophenone-3 is also allowed in a concentration up to 0.5 % to protect product formulation in all other cosmetic products.

Additionally, due to the possible classification of Titanium Dioxide as Carcinogen Cat. 2 (inhalation), the Commission asked the SCCS whether the ingredient can still be considered safe under the current restrictions:

  • As a UV-filter in cosmetic products up to a maximum concentration of 25%;
  • As a colorant without concentration restriction; and
  • As an ingredient in all other cosmetic products without concentration restriction.

Finally, the SCCS was requested to provide a description of the specific concerns that have been identified regarding the use of nanomaterials in cosmetic products. For nanomaterials with previously issued inconclusive SCCS opinions, the SCCS is requested to assess if, based on the available scientific literature and SCCS’ expert judgement, a potential risk can be identified.

The SCCS opinions must be monitored closely, since the Commission is rarely deviating from the advice to restrict or prohibit an ingredient due to safety concerns.

Efrosina Zhivkova

Expert Consultant at Regulatory Affairs Department


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