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EC SCCS requests Information on Nano Silica in Cosmetics

The European Commission (EC) Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) has received a request by the EC to investigate the ‘use of silica in nano because of the potential high exposure in many types of products and […] the potential for nanoparticles of silica to break out of the agglomerates and enter cells’. In turn the SCCS has invited interested third parties to submit relevant information that could assist the committee in providing the Commission with an opinion by 31 May 2014.

The request comes as 172 notifications have been received about silica, and yet they are not regulated by the EC Cosmetics Regulation. The terms of reference for the request submitted to the SCCS are:

  1. ‘In the view of the above, and taken [sic] into account the scientific data provided, SCCS is requested to give its opinion of the nanomaterials Silica, Hydrated Silica, Silica Sylilate and Silica Dimethyl Silylate for use in leave-on and rinse-off cosmetics products, including hair, skin, lip face, and nail products, taking into account the reasonably foreseeable exposure conditions
  2. In the event the SCCS finds that the safety assessment for one or more of the nanomaterials covered by this mandate should be provided in a separate opinion, the SCCS is asked to justify its the decision [sic]
  3. SCCS is requested to address any further scientific concerns with regard to the use of Silica, Hydrated Silica, Silica Sylilate and Silica Dimethyl Silylate in nano form in cosmetic products’

The SCCS has called for stakeholders to provide information on:

  • ‘identification of the type of cosmetic product using these ingredients and their concentration; protocols of applications
  • differences in solubility including for surface coated materials
  • information on adverse health effects
  • results from toxicological tests with such products or ingredients contained within including inhalation toxicity, genotoxicity/carcinogenicity/toxicokinetic studies, photocatalytic activity and phototoxic effect
  • or any other scientific data/publications considered relevant to assess the safety of such products’


Follow this link to read the request sent to SCCS, and this for submission information to the SCCS.

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