cosmetics Tag

ECHA’s Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) met on 8-9 and 14-16 June 2022 and discussed a great number of opinions. These concern five opinions on active substances, ten on requests from the European Commission and nine opinions on Union authorisation.

The committee stands behind the approval of the active substance formic acid for product-types 2, 3, 4, 5 and for use in preservatives for products throughout storage (product-type 6). The opinions will be available on the BPC’s web page in the near future.

The opinions regarding the requests from the European Commission include those on availability and suitability of alternatives to hexaflumuron and on endocrine disrupting properties of formaldehyde releasers.

Finally, the committee supported the following positive opinions on Union authorisations:

  • active chlorine released from chlorineused in disinfectants and algaecides not meant for direct use on people or animals (product-type 2) and for disinfection of drinking water for humans and animals (product-type 5);
  • calcium dihydroxide/calcium hydroxide/caustic lime/hydrated lime/slaked limefor product type 2, and for use in disinfectants, disinfecting soaps, oral or corporal hygiene products or with anti-microbial function (product-type 3);
  • calcium oxide/lime/burnt lime/quicklimefor product-types 2 and 3;
  • peracetic acidfor product-types 2, 3 and for use in disinfecting equipment, containers, consumption utensils, surfaces or pipework associated with the production, transport, storage or consumption of food or feed (including drinking water) for humans and animals (product-type 4);
  • hydrogen peroxidefor product-types 2 and 4;
  • L-(+)-lactic acidfor product-types 3 and 4;
  • L-(+)-lactic acidfor product-types 2, 3 and 4; and
  • 3-iodo-2-propynylbutylcarbamate (IPBC) used in preservation of wood, from and including the saw-mill stage, or wood products by the control of wood-destroying or wood-disfiguring organisms, including insects (product-type 8).

The committee does not stand behind a Union authorisation for hydrogen peroxide for toilet bowl disinfection in professional environments, such as hospitals (product-type 2). The BPC decided that, among other things, the measures that had to be taken to prevent or mitigate exposure throughout use would not be practical nor feasible. It was also said that some co-formulants of the product lead to unacceptable environmental risks.

One Union authorisation opinion concerning chlorocresol was postponed and will be adopted via written procedure.

The European Commission together with EU Member States will make the final decision on approval of active substances and on Union authorisation of biocidal products.

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Cosmetic packaging

Packaging material means the container (or primary packaging) that is in direct contact with the formulation.

Within the Regulation (EC) 1223/2009, article 10 says: ” In order to demonstrate that a cosmetic product complies with Article 3, the responsible person shall, prior to placing a cosmetic product on the market, ensure that the cosmetic product has undergone a safety assessment on the basis of the relevant information and that a cosmetic product safety report is set up in accordance with Annex I. ”

In Annex I, section 4, requires reporting “Impurities, traces, information on packaging material” within the safety assessment.

Requests for information on packaging is more detailed in the Commission Implementing Decision 2013/674/EU, where it is indicated that the relevant characteristics of the packaging material in direct contact with the final product are important for the safety of the product and that the reference to Regulation (EC) 1935/2004 may be useful.

Therefore, packaging of cosmetic product must be safe for consumer like the product itself.


Effects of packaging on product safety

The combination of packaging material, cosmetic product formulation and contact with the environment

external effects could affect the safety of the finished product, due to the following factors:

a) interaction between the product and the packaging material;

b) barrier properties of the packaging material;

c) migration of the substance from / to the packaging material.

Therefore, when evaluating the packaging, the evaluator must take into account the possible interactions between the components of the packaging and the finished product, the effectiveness of the packaging to isolate the product from the external environment (this also affects the duration of the product after opening) and the substances that can migrate from the packaging to the product and therefore come into contact with the final consumer.


What information is needed for packaging evaluation

As there is no specific regulation for cosmetic packaging, the European Commission recommends referring to Reg. 1935/2004 regarding materials and objects intended to come into contact with food.

This indication is taken up by Cosmetic Europe within its guidelines, where it suggests the approach to be adopted in the evaluation of packaging whether it follows the food regulation or not.


Packaging in compliance with food regulation

in the majority of cases, if the packaging is safe for a specific type of food, it should also be suitable for cosmetics that have similar physical chemical properties as this food.

If compliance has been based on migration into food/food simulants, the cosmetics assessor needs to decide whether the food/simulants and test conditions/assumptions are applicable to the cosmetics formulation.

Obviously, the evaluator will also have to take into account Annexes II and III of the cosmetic regulation (prohibited and restricted substances).


Packaging not in compliance with food regulation

A Cosmetic packaging material might not be food contact compliant because of the presence of a substance that is not authorised for food contact materials or used outside of restrictions set for such use. Non-compliance could also be linked to the material not having been manufactured according to GMP Regulation (EC) N°2023/2006. Such packaging may still be perfectly safe for use in a cosmetic application after the performance of the safety assessment. References to other standards like e.g. pharmaceutical standards or food and feed additives might be helpful in generating useful support information.




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One of the most significant changes introduced by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) in the Notes of Guidance with the eleventh revision of March 2021 is the use of two mathematical models for the calculation of inhalation exposure.

Cosmetic products, by definition, are designed to be applied to the external surfaces of the human body, teeth and mucous membranes of the mouth. However, sometimes these products, or some of the ingredients that compose them, can be inhaled in the form of vapours, powders and aerosols.

The first model applies to products that can generate vapours (for example liquid products that contain volatile solvents). For these products, the inhalation Systemic Exposure Dose (SEDinh) of the ingredients is calculated by multiplying the daily exposure to the product by the concentration and evaporation fraction (a value between 0 and 1).

The second model applies to powder and spray products. Spray products fall into two categories: propellant sprays (which produce a finer aerosol) and pump sprays (which produce a less fine and more difficult to inhale aerosol).

For the assessment of inhalation exposure to these types of products, the SCCS proposed the use of a 1- or 2-Box model.

In a classical 1-Box model it is assumed that the entire spray amount is instantaneously released into the air and distributed in a box of a specific size, which e.g. simulates the breathing zone. The resulting air concentration is then multiplied by the breathing rate and the time spent in the box to calculate the exposure. A 2-Box model takes into account the dilution of the substance over time. As in the 1-Box model, the assumption is that the spray is instantly released and distributed in a box around the head. There the aerosol is present for exposure over a defined time, after which the full amount of aerosol in the first box is transferred to a larger second box (representing a room where the product is used), where it is available for inhalation for a second defined time period. For a conservative approach, the air exchange (fresh air getting in, exhaust air getting out) can be assumed as zero.

In addition to the size of the two boxes and the time that the product remains in suspension, the size of the aerosol generated by the product must also be taken into account for the calculation of the SEDinh, which vary according to the type of spray used. A finer aerosol is more easily breathable and consequently the substances contained within will be more systemically available.

The application of these mathematical models allows a better characterization of exposure to the ingredients contained within cosmetic products and is a further step towards a greater guarantee of safety for the final consumer.

For more details see:

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