• March 4, 2019
  • BEUC

Potential hormone disruptors in consumers' cosmetics | BEUC comments to European Commission preliminary priority



BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation welcomes the European Commission’s intention to establish a priority list of potential endocrine disruptors used in cosmetic products. Scientists increasingly link endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to a range of severe diseases and disorders, including infertility, obesity and cancer. Cosmetics ingredients with endocrine-disrupting (ED) properties represent a significant, potential source of cumulative consumer exposure to EDCs, including for vulnerable groups, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and persons with compromised immune responses. As such, it is imperative that ingredients which may represent a risk to consumer health are systematically identified and their use in cosmetic products prohibited without delay. 

Establish an EU review programme of cosmetics ingredients with ED properties - BEUC strongly supports the development of an EU priority list of potential endocrine disruptors used in cosmetics. However, this cannot be a ‘closed’ list. Rather, it is essential that a ‘living’ list of priority substances is established and updated in response to new evidence linking cosmetics ingredients to endocrine disruption.

The EU thus needs to establish a comprehensive review programme which will ensure that all cosmetics ingredients are eventually considered for evaluation by the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) for their potential ED properties. This review programme should build on and integrate with similar EU chemical screening programmes, such as the REACH Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) and the Biocidal Product work programme. 

Inclusion of cosmetics ingredients in this review programme must be based on transparent criteria. This would allow scrutiny by the scientific community – and the public – of a decision to exclude a particular ingredient from further review. Where available data for an ingredient indicates potential endocrine disrupting properties, its use in cosmetics should be restricted – or prohibited altogether – unless safe use can be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.

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