Endocrine disruptors in cosmetics | NGO action against EU Commission

Article 15(4) of the Cosmetics Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009) instructs the European Commission to review the Regulation with regard to substances with endocrinedisrupting properties, when Community or internationally agreed criteria for identifying such substances are available, or at the latest on 11 January 2015. (Herein the ‘EDC review’). Despite this unambiguous deadline, the Commission has to date failed to complete the EDC review. Since January 2015, BEUC has repeatedly raised concern about the delayed EDC review which may create unnecessary health risks for consumers. Sufficient evidence links endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to a range of severe diseases and disorders, including infertility and cancer. Cosmetics ingredients with endocrine-disrupting properties represent a significant, potential source of cumulative consumer exposure to EDCs – a fact compelling demonstrated by EU consumer organisations.

Consumers are in frequent, intimate and often prolonged contact with cosmetic and personal care products: a survey of more than 2,300 people found that the average adult uses nine personal care products each day. This aggregate figure however hides significant variations. One in four women for example use at least 15 products daily, according to the same survey. Cosmetic and personal care products are thus major direct sources of consumer exposure to potential EDCs, including for vulnerable groups, such as pregnant and breast-feeding women, children and persons with compromised immune responses. The failure to complete the EDC review may therefore endanger the health of millions of consumers across the EU.



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