EU scientists consult on eyelash colourants and cosmetic pigments

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hair dye, Pigment

EU scientists consult on eyelash colourants and cosmetic pigments
The European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) has opened public consultations for oxidative hair dye substances, pigment red 57 and hydrogen peroxide used in eyelash colourants.

The aforementioned have been approved for adoption by the Committee in its most recent plenary meeting and are now open for comments by applicants, national authorities and other interested parties.

Up for discussion...

The SCCS reviewed data on oxidative dyes at a higher concentration and considered those to be not or slightly irritant, safe and ruled that the irritant potential of dyes that have not been tested at other concentrations are unknown.

For these substances appropriate information is required before they can be assessed​.”

In terms of Pigment Red 57, the Committee ruled that it does not pose a risk to the health of the consumer, when used as a direct dye in non-oxidative hair dye formulations, at a maximum on-head concentration of 0.4 per cent. And that despite some shortcomings in its toxicological dataset, it considered that the available data does not indicate toxic effects of Pigment Red 57 at the low systemic exposure level foreseen after its use as a hair dye due to low absorption.

Furthermore, the SCCS looked at four of the oxidative dyes listed as being used in permanent eyelash dyes, classified as extreme sensitisers. Eight as strong sensitisers, five as moderate sensitisers and four are unclassifiable.

"There is potential for an allergic contact reaction to occur if the eyelid margin is exposed to dyes which are sensitizers or if there is greater (accidental) exposure to the eyelid skin. Individuals with a history of an allergic reaction to hair dyes are at particular risk​."

And that "Accidental introduction of an oxidative dye or hydrogen peroxide onto the eye would cause rapid elimination by lachrymation. Only mild and transient irritation is expected from those substances for which information is available."

Comments should be sent to Sanco-SCCS-Secretariat AT ec.europa.eu​, to which the deadline is 15 November 2012. Comments received during this period will be submitted to SCCS and discussed in the next plenary meeting with the view to publish the adopted opinion.

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