Summer 2022 special
Monday, February 3, 2020European Commission

Safety assessment of nanomaterials: the SCCS Guidance explained by the European Commission

Évaluation de la sécurité des nanomatériaux : les lignes directrices du CSSC expliquées par la Commission européenne

Some of the Opinions of the European Commission’s non-food Scientific Committees are presented in a format and language which can be easily understood by non-specialists. This is the case for the SCCS Guidance on the safety of nanomaterials in cosmetics. A factsheet was published in layman language.

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Text of the factsheet published by the European Commission

The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) provides guidance to public authorities and the cosmetic industry to ensure compliance with the current cosmetic EU legislation (EC No.1223/2009), in regard to safety assessment of nanomaterials intended for use as cosmetic ingredients.

Nanomaterials as cosmetic ingredients may have various functions, such as UV filters in sunscreens, preservatives or pigments, etc. The use of nanomaterials in cosmetics may bring certain benefits to the consumer. However, the same nanoscale features of a nanomaterial that give a cosmetic product useful properties, might also pose a risk to the consumer. This requires a thorough safety evaluation of any nanomaterial that is intended for use as a cosmetic ingredient, in the same way as other ingredients, but with special considerations to nano-features (e.g.extremely small size).

In Europe, safety assessment of regulated categories of chemical ingredients is mandatory before they can be used in a cosmetic product, including those ingredients that are in the form of nanomaterial.
It is also necessary for a manufacturer to notify the use of other nanomaterial ingredients to the European Commission prior to placing the cosmetic product on the market, and provide specific information …

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