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BEUC publishes Position Paper on planned Update of Cosmetics Nanomaterial Definition

The European Consumers' Organisation (BEUC) has today released a position paper on the upcoming revision of the cosmetics nanomaterial definition; in it the body proposes that the 'scope and elements [for] which a definition for the term "nano-material" for cosmetics should comprise [is] based on the [European] Commission recommendation'. The paper, entitled Nano-materials in cosmetic products: definition needs to effectively protect consumers, states that it 'outlines which elements such a definition should contain in order to effectively protect consumers from unknown hazards that may be related to cosmetic products which use' nanoscale materials.

BEUC makes a number of suggestions on which elements such a definition would need to contain, and states that 'the most important aspects will be setting the right threshold percentage in particle distribution and to interpret the meaning of' the term 'intentionally manufactured'. The organisation therefore recommends the following:

  • That all materials for whom more than 0.15% of particles are nanoscale be included
  • That unintentionally manufactured nanoscale by-products are covered
  • All soluble nanomaterials specifically 'designed to carry encapsulated substances that will be released into systemic circulation' be encompassed
  • A volume specific surface area piece of criteria be added, as 'particle size distribution alone is insufficient to give information about the surface area', as the surface area has an impact on a substance's reactivity

The document has been created in response to the European Commission's move earlier this year to set up a 'small working group which is mandated to work out first ideas' of how the Commission's 2011 definition can be combined with the technical definition included in the EU's 2009 Regulation for Cosmetic Products.


Follow this link to read BEUC's position paper in full (ref. X/2012/066).

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