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Nano industry calls for another look at carbon black

07-Jan-2014
Last updated on 07-Jan-2014 at 12:43 GMT

Nano industry calls for another look at carbon black

The Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) has called on its members to comment on the recent SCCS opinion on carbon black in nanoform for use as a colourant in cosmetics.  

The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety adopted two draft opinions with nanomaterial relevance on 12 December 2013, which the NIA has now asked its members to provide input or comments on by February 14th.

One draft related to Carbon Black in nanoform and the other, a memorandum on the 'Relevance and Quality of Data in Safety Dossiers on Nanomaterials'.

The Nano Association has asked its members to provide input or comments on the first by February 14th and is also asking for comment on the memorandum on the relevance, adequacy and quality of data in safety dossiers for nano-sized cosmetic ingredients).

Carbon black in cosmetics

Carbon Black (CAS 1333-86-4) is a material consisting of elemental carbon in the form of near spherical colloidal particles and coalesced particle aggregates/agglomerates, obtained by partial combustion or thermal decomposition of hydrocarbons.

The material has been used as a pigment in cosmetic applications, the purity of which EU regulation says should be >97%.

"The impurity profile of carbon black should be comparable with those nanomaterials tested for toxicity and should also comply with FDA specifications with respect to carbon black produced by furnace method," the SCCS stated in its December opinion.

SCCS opinion on the material

Last month the Committee considered, based on the evidence available to it, if Carbon Black, CI 77266 in its nano form was safe for use as a colorant with a concentration up to 10% in cosmetics.

It concluded that the use of the nano-structured form with a size of 20 nm or larger at that concentration did not pose any risk of adverse effects in humans after application on healthy, intact skin.

However, the SCCS noted that an eye irritation potential of the material cannot be completely excluded or that this ruling did not apply to applications that might lead to inhalation exposure to carbon black nanoparticles.

"In the evidence provided in the submission, imaging was considered the only practical method by the applicant for investigating skin penetration. The use of this method is considered by the SCCS as only semi-quantitative. Other methods need to be explored," it had then concluded.

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