July 15, 2019

July 15, 2019

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Health-EU Newsletter Includes Editorial on Safety of Nanomaterials in Sunscreens

The July 19, 2018, issue of the European Commission’s (EC) Health-EU Newsletter includes an editorial entitled “The only concern to have about sunscreen is … did you remember to put it on?” written by Qasim Chaudhry, Chair of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) and Ulrike Bernauer, Chair of the SCCS Working Group on Nanomaterials in Cosmetic Products.  According to the editorial, nanomaterials as cosmetic ingredients serve various functions, including as ultraviolet (UV)-filters (such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide), as pigments (e.g., carbon black), or as an antimicrobial agent.  SCCS published an opinion in 2013 stating that the use of nano-titanium dioxide up to a concentration of 25 percent as a UV-filter in dermally applied sunscreen products was safe to use on healthy, intact, or sunburned skin (SCCS/1516/13).  The editorial notes that when a nanomaterial surface is modified with other ingredients, however, it can lead to a change in the material characteristics and as a result numerous variants of a nanomaterial may be formed.  In the case of nano-titanium dioxide used in sunscreens, SCCS concluded that such variants resulting from surface modification can also be considered safe.  SCCS recently published another opinion (SCCS/1580/16) that assesses whether nano-titanium dioxide coated with other materials could be considered safe for the use as a UV-filter in dermally-applied cosmetic products.  SCCS concluded that the use of titanium dioxide nanomaterials coated with specified amounts of three other coating materials could also be considered safe for use in cosmetic products intended for application on healthy, intact, or sunburned skin.  The editorial states that this conclusion “is mainly based on dermal penetration studies that showed that these nanomaterials did not permeate the skin and enter the body.”  According to the editorial, SCCS keeps opinions “under constant review as new scientific evidence becomes available.”  SCCS “is currently revising, in fact, the Guidance on the Safety Assessment of Nanomaterials in cosmetics (SCCS/1484/12) to take account of the scientific progress in the field of nanotechnology and new available testing methods.”  The editorial concludes that consumers can “rest assured” that any nanomaterials in cosmetics in Europe have already gone through “the most stringent safety assessment in the world.”

©2019 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.


About this Author

Lynn Bergeson, Campbell PC, Toxic Substances Control Act Attorney, federal insecticide lawyer, industrial biotechnology legal counsel, Food Drug Administration law
Managing Partner

Owner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), Lynn L. Bergeson has earned an international reputation for her deep and expansive understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and especially how these regulatory programs pertain to nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and other emerging transformative technologies. Her knowledge of and involvement in the policy...

Carla Hutton, Bergeson Campbell PC, global regulatory attorney, public health activists lawyer, metals industry legal counsel, Toxic Substances Control Act law
Regulatory Analyst

Since 1996, Carla Hutton has monitored, researched, and written about regulatory and legislative issues that may potentially affect Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) clients. She is responsible for creating a number of monthly and quarterly regulatory updates for B&C's clients, as well as other documents, such as chemical-specific global assessments of regulatory developments and trends. She authors memoranda for B&C clients on regulatory and legislative developments, providing information that is focused, timely and applicable to client initiatives. These tasks have proven invaluable to many clients, keeping them aware and abreast of developing issues so that they can respond in kind and prepare for the future of their business.

Ms. Hutton brings a wealth of experience and judgment to her work in federal, state, and international chemical regulatory and legislative issues, including green chemistry, nanotechnology, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Proposition 65, and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program.