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March 20, 2018

EC Committee’s Preliminary Opinion on Colloidal Silver (Nano) Available for Comment

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The European Commission (EC) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) announced on March 20, 2018, that its preliminary opinion on colloidal silver (nano) is available for comment.  According to the preliminary opinion, the EC received 63 notifications of cosmetic products containing colloidal silver in nano form.  According to the applicants, the ingredient is used in nano uncoated form both in leave-on and rinse-off oral cosmetics products, including toothpastes and skin care products, with a maximum reported concentration limit of one percent and certain specifications.  The EC asked SCCS for its opinion on the safety of the nanomaterial colloidal silver as used in the notified products, taking into account reasonably foreseeable exposure conditions.  SCCS states that the applicants provided only a limited amount of data that corresponded to the SCCS Guidance on Safety Assessment of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics (SCCS 1484/12).  According to SCCS, the provided data were also not in line with the SCCS Memorandum on Relevance, Adequacy and Quality of Data in Safety Dossiers on Nanomaterials (SCCS/1524/13).  Although other information is available in open literature relating to the toxicity of nanosilver, their relevance with respect to the materials of the submission has not been considered by the applicants.  Due to a number of major data gaps, SCCS states that it is not able to draw a conclusion on the safety of nanosilver when used in oral and dermal cosmetic products.  The EC asked SCCS to address any further scientific concerns with regard to the use of colloidal silver in nano form in cosmetic products.  SCCS states:  “In addition to safety assessment of nano silver, consideration should also be given to the likely presence of ionic silver in different type of final products.”  Comments are due May 15, 2018.