- December 4, 2017
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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