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March 22, 2017

SCCS Issues Final Opinion on Additional Coatings for Titanium Dioxide (Nano Form) as UV-Filter in Dermally Applied Cosmetic Products

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On March 7, 2017, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) issued a final opinion on additional coatings for titanium dioxide (nano form) coated with cetyl phosphate, manganese dioxide, or triethoxycaprylylsilane as an ultraviolet (UV)-filter in dermally applied cosmetics.  The conclusion states that given a general lack of dermal absorption and low general toxicity of nano-forms of titanium dioxide, SCCS considers that the use of the three titanium dioxide nanomaterials, coated with either cetyl phosphate, manganese dioxide, or triethoxycaprylylsilane, can be considered safe for use in cosmetic products intended for application on healthy, intact, or sunburned skin.  SCCS notes that the ingredients used in some types of products (e.g., in lipsticks) may be incidentally ingested.  The potential harmful effects of manganese dioxide should therefore be taken into account if the manganese dioxide-coated nanomaterials are to be used for applications that could lead to oral ingestion.  The opinion does not apply to applications that might lead to exposure of the consumer’s lungs to the titanium dioxide nanoparticles through the inhalation route (such as powders or sprayable products).  SCCS states that if any new evidence emerges in the future to show that the titanium dioxide nanoparticles used in a sunscreen formulation can penetrate skin to reach viable cells, then it may consider revising this assessment.  SCCS notes that the opinion does not consider the potential ecotoxicological impacts of nano titanium dioxide when released into the environment.  As reported in our March 14, 2017, blog item, SCCS has begun a public consultation on its opinion on titanium dioxide (nano form) as UV-filter in sprays.  The public consultation will end May 14, 2017.