Tuesday, October 27, 2020European Commission

Proposals for a harmonised classification for benzyl alcohol and silver

Propositions de classification harmonisée pour l'alcool benzylique et l'argent

On 19 October 2020, ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) opened a public consultation on two proposals for harmonised classification of Benzyl alcohol and Silver (nano and non-nano). Silver could thus eventually be classified CMR, which could compromise its use in cosmetic products. The consultation is open until 18 December 2020.

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Benzyl Alcohol

Benzyl alcohol (CAS: 100-51-6; EC: 202-859-9) is very present in cosmetic products. The CosIng defines it as a perfuming agent, preservative, solvent and viscosity controlling agent.
It is already regulated by the Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 and appears in two of its annexes.
It is thus listed in Annex III, entry 45 (substances subject to restrictions) for its allergenicity, and must be indicated in the lists of ingredients on the labels as soon as its concentration in the finished product is higher than 0.001% in leave-on products and 0.01% in rinse-off products.
It is also included in Annex V (Preservatives), with a maximum permitted concentration of 1.0%.
The substance is also already present in Annex VI of the CLP Regulation with the following classifications:
• Acute Tox. 4 (*) - H302: Harmful if swallowed
• Acute Tox. 4 (*) - H332: Harmful if inhaled

This new classification proposal comes from the German BAuA (Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), which considered it following the evaluation under CoRAP in 2016, and taking into account the notifications registered by ECHA.
Germany proposes:
• The modification of the Acute Tox 4 (*) - H302 classification to Acute Tox. 4 - H302 …

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