The consultation refers to MI used in leave-on products and the Commission invites any interested parties, including authorities of Member States, manufacturers of cosmetic products, producers of the substances concerned and relevant industry and consumers associations, to submit their comments on the proposed measures and on their possible economic impact.
It is already open for comment at present with the final date for comments on 23 October, 2015.
In the latest request, the Commission says it is looking for input on the possible economic impact of the measure, considering in particular:
- feasibility of the proposed changes;
- competitiveness, markets and trade;
- direct and indirect costs imposed on business, including SMEs;
- innovation and research;
- specific regions, sectors or workers;
- third countries and international relations; and
- macroeconomic environment.
Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a synthetic biocide and preservative within the group of isothiazolinones, which is used in numerous personal care products such as sunscreens and shampoos, as well as other industrial applications.
It is authorized as a preservative in cosmetics products at a maximum concentration of 0.01% (100ppm).
Back in 2013 the Commission's Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) concluded that the use of MI in leave-on products is not safe due to the compound's sensitising potential.
The committee also evaluated the safety of MI in rinse-off and leave-on hair products, but requested time for a reassessment because new data became available.
The new SCCS paper is expected by the end of September and the Commission says it will wait until this second Opinion is finalised before amending the EU cosmetics Regulation to reduce the concentration limit for MI in rinse-off products.
It says that there are two reasons for waiting: firstly, the recently submitted data need to be assessed; an secondly, the cosmetics industry considers that at a concentration of 15 ppm, the substance would not be effective as a preservative, which is a reason for concern due to the current challenges to cosmetic product preservation.