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July 26, 2010

Safe Cosmetics Act Would Allow FDA to Require Labeling of Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson

On July 20, 2010, Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (H.R. 5786), which would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) “to ensure the safe use of cosmetics.” Under the bill, the Secretary of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would:

  1. Monitor developments in the scientific understanding of any adverse health effects related to the use of nanotechnology in the formulation of cosmetics; and
  2. Consider scale-specific hazard properties of ingredients when conducting or reviewing safety substantiation of cosmetic ingredients.

Regarding cosmetic and ingredient statements, the bill would require manufacturers to submit electronically a statement containing certain information, including “the ingredient list as it appears on the cosmetic label or insert, including the particle size of any nanoscale cosmetic ingredients.” The bill would also allow the FDA Secretary to require that:

  1. Minerals and other particulate ingredients be labeled as ‘nano-scale’ on a cosmetic ingredient label or list if not less than one dimension is 100 nanometers (nm) or smaller for not less than one percent of the ingredient particles in the cosmetic; and
  2. Other ingredients in a cosmetic be designated with scale-specific information on a cosmetic ingredient label or list if such ingredients possess scale-specific hazard properties.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, as well as the Committee on Education and Labor.