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March 26, 2009

EP Approves Updated EU Legislation on Cosmetics That Addresses Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 24, 2009, the European Parliament (EP) approved an update of European Union (EU) legislation on cosmetics. The new regulation is intended to remove legal uncertainties and inconsistencies, while increasing the safety of cosmetics. The regulation would replace 27 different regulations. The new regulation addresses nanomaterials used as cosmetics ingredients. As requested by the EP, the new regulation introduces a safety assessment procedure for all products containing nanomaterials, which could lead to a ban on a substance if there is a risk to human health. The EP also succeeded in requiring that any nanomaterials present in cosmetics be mentioned in the list of ingredients on the packaging. The new regulation also includes a definition of nanomaterials, which must be adapted by the European Commission (EC) in line with scientific and technological advances. Under the new regulation, nanomaterial would be defined as “an insoluble or bioresistant and intentionally manufactured material with one or more external dimensions, or an internal structure, on the scale from 1 to 100 nm.”