SCCS puts forward draft opinion on cosmetic chemicals for comment

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetic products Cosmetics European commission Sccs

SCCS puts forward draft opinion on cosmetic chemicals for comment
The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has published a draft document containing opinions on kojic acid, benzisothiazolinone and nitrosamines used in cosmetic products by request of the European Commission.  

Kojic acid (5-hydroxy-2-hydroxymethyl-4-pyrone) is used in cosmetic products as a skin lightener. In its research, the SCCS studied the available data which suggests that the chemical is safe at a concentration of 1 per cent in leave-on creams applied to the face and hands.

Benzisothiazolinone, a preservative currently not listed in Annex VI of the cosmetics Directive is not permitted for use in cosmetics; however Cosmetics Europe has requested the inclusion of the chemical.

The SCCS has declared that it considers the chemical safe for use as a preservative in cosmetics at a concentration up to 0.01 per cent. However, it also voices concern over its sensitizing potential, which could lead to skin reactions.

Finally, the document illustrates the committee’s opinion on nitrosamine, which covers estimates of lifetime cancer incidence for N-nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA) in cosmetic products.

Nitrosamines can be present at low levels as contaminants in many products. Under the Cosmetic Directive there are limits for its presence (50 micrograms per kilo) and those that exceed these limits are thought to pose serious risks.

The opinions have been approved for adoption by the SCCS in its most recent plenary meeting and are now open for comments by applicants, national authorities and other interested parties for a period of four weeks after publication.

The intent of this commenting period is for applicants and other interested parties to provide limited additional perspective and/or clarification on the evaluation, interpretation, and incorporation of the submitted specific data package in the SCCS opinion.

Comments received during this period will be submitted to the SCCS and discussed in the next plenary meeting with the view to publish the adopted opinion.

The deadline is 24 August. For more information on the cosmetic chemicals under the spotlight please see here​.

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