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November 22, 2016

SCCS Opinion on Additional Coatings for Titanium Dioxide (Nano Form) as UV-Filter Available for Comment

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On November 22, 2016, the European Commission’s (EC) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) began a public consultation on its opinion on additional coatings for titanium dioxide (nano form) as an ultraviolet (UV)-filter in dermally applied cosmetic products.  The EC asked if SCCS considered safe the use of cetyl phosphate, manganese dioxide, and triethoxycaprylylsilane as coatings for titanium dioxide (nano) used as a UV-filter in dermally-applied cosmetic products.  SCCS concluded 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 this 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), however.  The EC also asked if SCCS has any further scientific concerns regarding the use of these coatings for titanium dioxide (nano) used as UV-filter in dermally-applied cosmetic products.  SCCS states that the ingredients used in some types of products (e.g., in lipsticks) may be incidentally ingested.  SCCS cautions that 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.  SCCS may consider revising its assessment if new evidence emerges to show that titanium dioxide nanoparticles used in a sunscreen formulation can penetrate skin (healthy, compromised, or damaged skin) to reach viable cells.  SCCS notes that its opinion does not consider the potential ecotoxicological impacts of nanoscale titanium dioxide when released into the environment.  Comments on the opinion are due January 17, 2017.