View article

European Commission asks for scientific advice on safety of nanomaterials used in cosmetics

The European Commission has requested the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) for advice on the safety of nanomaterials used in cosmetics to establish a priority list for risk assessment and to assess if a potential risk can be identified for those nanomaterials with inconclusive SCCS opinions.

The European Commission seeks advice on two points:

  1. It requests the SCCS to determine the nanomaterials, as published in the recent catalogue of nanomaterials, for which specific concerns can be identified and justified to establish a priority list of nanomaterials for risk assessment. The Commission asks the SCCS to provide a description of the specific concerns that have been identified, based on the currently available scientific literature and the SCCS’s expert judgment.
  2. For nanomaterials with inconclusive SCCS opinions such as Colloidal Silver (nano) (SCCS/1596/18), Styrene/Acrylates copolymer (nano) + Sodium styrene/Acrylates copolymer (nano) (SCCS/1595/18), and Silica, Hydrated Silica, and Silica Surface Modified with Alkyl Silylates (nanoform) (SCCS/1545/15), the Commission requests the SCCS to assess if a potential risk can be identified. According to the request, such assessment, regardless of the data previously submitted by the respective applicants, should be based on the available scientific literature and SCCS’s expert judgment – the systemic or local availability; harmful effects specifically related to nanoform; surface catalysed reactions in nanoform, absorption (or potential absorption) from dermal and inhalation routes, or potential of nanoform to deliver ionic forms.

To avoid conflicting opinions with other bodies, the request also invites the SCCS to consult the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER).

Visit the EUON’s catalogue of nanomaterials used in cosmetics where each ingredient has been linked to the European Chemicals Agency’s database enabling you to find more data about each substance including their chemical properties and safe use information.


The SCCS provides opinions on health and safety risks (chemical, biological, mechanical and other physical risks) of non-food consumer products (e.g. cosmetic products and their ingredients, toys, textiles, clothing, personal care and household products) and services (e.g. tattooing, artificial sun tanning).

The SCHEER provides opinions on questions concerning emerging or newly identified health and environmental risks and on broad, complex or multidisciplinary issues that require a comprehensive assessment of risks to consumer safety or public health and related issues not covered by other European Union risk assessment bodies.