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Tuesday, April 15, 2014SCCS

Aluminium: the SCCS will not take a stand

Aluminium : le CSSC ne tranche pas

It took several alarming scientific reports and just as many heated debates for this topic to receive attention at the European level. At this stage, we were expecting the experts to (finally) state a clear position on the safety of aluminium in cosmetic products and to provide safe usage thresholds, information which would end the debates. The SCCS has issued its Opinion… but none of our expectations have been met. Details.

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The alarms were sounded by France’s AFSSAPS (now the ANSM, the drug and health product safety agency) in 2011 and by its Norwegian equivalent, the VKM, in 2013, as well as by other European Union member states who were sensitive to the subject. This happened following several scientific publications in which the researchers pointed out the potentially toxic effects of aluminium, and, even though cosmetics do not constitute the main source of exposure for humans, the risks of exceeding the daily amount considered to be safe. These study results and conclusions are contested by the cosmetics industry, which has always argued that the cutaneous penetration of aluminium was too low for its products to represent any health risks.

The matter was brought before the European Commission, which, according to the usual procedure, transferred it to its committee of independent experts, the SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety). Their orders were to assess the possible risk to human health caused by the presence of aluminium in cosmetics and to recommend safe concentration limits in products.

We were expecting the truth to come out of the mouths of the experts and we thought their scientific opinion would put an end to the …

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