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September 21, 2023

Austrian Academy of Sciences Publishes NanoTrust Dossier on the Regulation and Safety Assessment of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics in the EU

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

In August 2023, the Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences published a NanoTrust Dossier entitled “Nanomaterials in cosmetics — regulation and safety assessment in the EU.” The dossier states that to ensure “the highest possible level of consumer protection,” the European Union (EU) Cosmetics Regulation was adapted in 2009, with special provisions introduced for nanomaterials. These provisions include requiring the notification of cosmetic products containing nanomaterials to the European Commission (EC), a comprehensive safety assessment, and the labeling of nanoscale ingredients on the product label. According to the dossier, cosmetics are the only consumer products with such regulations in the EU. In the United States, for example, “there are no such regulations to protect consumers.” Technical progress, as well as the experience gained during the implementation of the nanomaterial provisions, “now necessitate their adaption and update.” The dossier states that the definition of the term “nanomaterial” in the regulation, the safety assessment and notification procedures, and the labeling method “are now subject to review at [the] EU level.”