The inventory is required by the EU cosmetics regulation, which stipulates that the Commission must publish full details of those nanomaterials used in cosmetics products in Europe.
It was due in January 2014 and has been delayed because the information sent to the Commission by the wider industry is considered poor and inaccurate.
In a report from Chemical Watch, the Commission is quoted as giving the following justification: “The delay in publishing the new nanomaterials inventory is due to the fact that the Commission has determined that some of the information on nanomaterials, provided by operators through the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP), is not accurate”
The Commission has noted that although it is working to provide the inventory, it is keen to ensure the accuracy of any information it contains, noting that it will ‘only be useful if it contains correct information’. It states the inventory is set to be published shortly, but would not commit to a specific timescale.
Various NGOs have hit back at the delay, claiming that it indicates that the EC is putting the industry’s interests ahead of the health and environment of European citizens.
David Azoulay, managing attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law (Ciel), is quoted as saying: “After three years of refusing to comply with its legal obligations, we find the Commission's response to be absolutely irresponsible and contemptuous.”
The Commission, though, notes that the quality of some of the information it received from operators through the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP) is not sufficiently good to ensure accuracy.
For example, some substances that are ‘unlikely’ to be nanomaterials, for example, water, were notified as such, while other nanomaterials that should have been notified were not.
Critics from NGOs and similar, however, have demanded the publication of all data, noting that it would allow national governments, civil society and other interested stakeholders, such as academics, researchers and scientists, to scrutinise its quality.