Nanotechnology and cosmetics

Posted in 2012

The JA2012 Nanotechnology and Cosmetics activity was the first activity undertaken by PROSAFE focussing on products falling under Cosmetic Regulation (EC) No.1223/2009. The countries that participated are: Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain.
The primary purpose of the nanotechnology and cosmetics activity is to monitor the presence of cosmetic products containing nanomaterials that are currently used in cosmetic products in the EU market in order to provide information that may be used as a basis for policy making.  

nano1  nano2 Solutions of gold nanoparticles of various sizes

Though the legal definition of nanomaterials in the EU is still under discussion, the Cosmetic Regulation roughly defines nanomaterials as particles in the size range of 1 – 100 nm. These materials are increasingly used in many products, including food and cosmetics. Because of their small size their toxicological properties may differ from those established for the same ingredient when present as larger particles, causing some safety concerns. The Cosmetic Regulation requires manufacturers and importers of cosmetics to indicate the presence of nanomaterials on the labelling of the product and obliges the manufacturer to notify the use of nanomaterials to the Commission, allowing safety concerns to be evaluated by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS).
Besides a number of meetings to share experiences and best practices, as well as to develop a harmonised approach to the surveillance of nanomaterials in cosmetic products, the main activities were administrative controls and the analysis of samples for the presence of nanomaterials.
Administrative controls focussed primarily on manufacturers and EU-importers of cosmetics, aiming to collect general information on the use of nanomaterials. These inspections were complemented by the analysis of samples taken from a limited number of product categories to be analysed for some of the most frequent nanomaterials.

 JA2012 Nanotech RepFinal Technical Report
Please click on the picture to download a copy of the final technical report. The report gives an overview of the activities done throughout this particular project, highlighting not only the test results but also the recommendations and conclusions which can be found at the end of this report.