Cosmetics and other personal care products can contain many different chemical substances of concern, including harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The European Commission has opened a public consultation on how the EU’s Cosmetic Products Regulation can be improved to better protect human health, which will end on 21 June 2022.   

Research shows that chronic exposure to even low doses of EDCs can contribute to numerous health disorders, including infertility and reproduction disorders, breast cancer, and impaired child brain and nervous system development. As some consumers can use different cosmetics on a daily basis, some of which are even re-applied throughout the day, these products can represent a significant source of our daily exposure to EDCs and other chemicals. 

As announced in the European Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, the European Commission has started a process for a targeted revision of the Regulation on Cosmetic Products, intended to close important loopholes, including the identification and prohibition to use some of the most harmful chemicals in these products and ensuring better information to consumers. 

Citizens and stakeholders are invited to respond to the short public consultation, which consists of six questions that are available in all official EU languages, by Tuesday 21 June. EDC-Free Europe campaigners highlight the public consultation is an important opportunity for citizens to clearly indicate that:

  • Harmful chemicals such as those that are disruptive to the endocrine system (EDCs), can cause cancer, are toxic to reproduction or can have other very serious health effects should not be allowed in cosmetic products;
  • The combination effects from simultaneous and subsequent exposure to chemicals from different sources, including cosmetics, must be fully taken into consideration. This reflects real-life situations and was overlooked by EU legislation thus far. In fact, a recent study found that women may use between 12 to 16 personal care products in one day, which can translate into exposure to more than 160 chemical ingredients a day. 
  • Information on chemicals in cosmetic products must be readily and easily accessible to all consumers with the products that they purchase.

In September 2021, following on the results of a new series of tests on chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products, members of EDC-Free Europe wrote to the European Commission to urge the EU to take swift and ambitious actions to ban endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in cosmetics and personal care products without delay.