Germany-based risk research group BfR plans to enlarge its product safety department because it says more information is needed about the ingredients used in consumer products. The conclusion was reached at the 5th BfR Forum on Consumer Protection which was held at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin on 3 and 4 March 2008. Information gap identified Gathering 200 representatives from science, control authorities, industry, politics and society, the participants at the forum identified an information gap that is putting consumer safety in danger. "There are many products on the market where we know very little about the ingredients," said BfR president Andreas Hensel. It said for numerous substances, the data required for scientific assessment is not sufficiently thorough as it needs to consider not only toxicity but also exposure in determining safe usage levels. To help correct the situation BfR will extend its Department for the Safety of Consumer Products which studies the safety of potential ingredients including the mechanisms of allergenic substances on the skin. Cosmetic regulations praised The BfR was also highly critical of safety regulations for a number of industries especially children's toys but the risk assessor said the cosmetics industry was better than most. It said many cosmetic ingredients are already the subject of statutory regulation and all ingredients must be declared on the packaging using the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (the INCI Code). This declaration helps allergy sufferers who can then avoid products that contain problematic ingredients.