Trade body fights back against criticisms of new EU rules

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nanotechnology European union

CTPA has fought back against criticisms made by the BEUC of the new EU rules on nanomaterials in cosmetics.

European consumer association BEUC had argued that the definition of nanomaterials in the regulation was too narrow and that loopholes existed in the safety evaluation process.

However, CTPA director general Chris Flower said these criticisms were “more than a little mischievous”.

The head of the UK trade association said the definition of nanomaterials was extremely broad and certainly not too narrow.

BEUC had argued that many nanomaterials escape the requirements of the legislation because the definition only covers biopersistent and insoluble particles.

However, Flower said non-biopersistent and soluble nanoparticles would break down in formulations and therefore cease to be nanoparticles so it would be pointless to include them in a legal definition for cosmetics.

Green MP Hiltrud Breyer had also been concerned about the “narrowness” of the definition and had called on the Commission to quickly revise the definition to bring it in line with international definitions.

Flower said the definition was established with the express purpose of being in accordance with international definitions, and if and when an internationally agreed definition emerges that is different, the Commission will adopt it.

The definition was not the only cause of controversy in the new rules. BEUC had also said that there loopholes in the safety evaluation provisions in the regulation.

The consumer watchdog said only nanomaterials used for certain specific purposes would have to be evaluated for safety before reaching the market under the new rules.

If a nanomaterial was to be used as a colour, preservative or UV filter they would free from the safety assessment process.

Flower disagreed expressing his surprise at the interpretation. He said that under his reading of the rules no nanoparticles are excluded and every manufacturer must inform the Commission six months before launch about any nanoparticles used in a new product.

He also attacked the suggestion that any ingredients would somehow escape safety evaluation. The industry representative said that all cosmetic products must undergo a rigorous safety assessment before they reach the market.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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