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April 13, 2021

EC Committee Concludes Hydroxyapatite (Nano) in Cosmetic Products Can Pose a Risk to Consumers

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On April 12, 2021, the European Commission (EC) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) published its final opinion on hydroxyapatite (nano).  The EC asked whether SCCS considers the nanomaterial hydroxyapatite safe when used in leave-on and rinse-off dermal and oral cosmetic products according to the maximum concentrations and specifications reported, taking into account reasonably foreseeable exposure conditions.  SCCS states that having considered the data provided, and other relevant information available in scientific literature, it “cannot conclude on the safety of the hydroxyapatite composed of rod-shaped nanoparticles for use in oral-care cosmetic products at the maximum concentrations and specifications given in this Opinion.”  This is because the available data and information are not sufficient to exclude concerns over the genotoxic potential of hydroxyapatite (nano).  The EC also asked whether SCCS has any further scientific concerns with regard to the use of hydroxyapatite in nano form in cosmetic products.  The opinion states that although the particle shape of the nanomaterial considered in this opinion is reported as rod-shaped, “SCCS is aware that, depending on the manufacturing process, needle-shaped HAP nanoparticles may also be produced.”  According to the opinion, the available information indicates that hydroxyapatite (nano) in needle-shaped form “is of concern in relation to potential toxicity” and “should not be used in cosmetic products.”  SCCS concluded that there is a basis for concern that the use of hydroxyapatite (nano) in cosmetic products “can pose a risk to the consumer.”