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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Jiménez

News on Octocrylene

In a noteworthy shift, the European Union (EU) has implemented updated regulations surrounding Octocrylene, an organic UV filter prevalent in cosmetic products. Designed to safeguard consumers and formulations from harmful UV radiation, the EU Cosmetics Regulation now imposes restrictions on Octocrylene, allowing a maximum concentration of 9% in propellant sprays and up to 10% in other products.

These regulations, enforced since January 28, 2023, for new products and July 28, 2023, for existing ones, were instated following a comprehensive evaluation by the SCCS, addressing potential endocrine-disrupting properties.

Interestingly, the United Kingdom maintains a slightly different stance, permitting the use of Octocrylene as a UV filter up to 10%, albeit in its acid form.

However, France is taking a more proactive approach, signaling a call for additional regulatory measures on Octocrylene due to environmental concerns. A proposal is set to be submitted to Annex XVII of REACH to specifically address the environmental impact associated with the substance. France initiated a call for evidence from November 15, 2023, to January 10, 2024, to gather comprehensive information on Octocrylene's uses, environmental effects, available alternatives, and associated costs.

Anses (Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail in France) underscores the environmental risks posed by Octocrylene, particularly to aquatic ecosystems, including corals. The concern arises from the release of the substance during bathing and washing by individuals using sunscreens containing Octocrylene. Additionally, groundwater contamination could potentially impact drinking water consumers.

While the EU Cosmetics Regulation primarily addresses user safety, REACH encompasses broader environmental considerations. As such, the proposed restriction in Annex XVII to REACH is deemed the most suitable avenue for managing environmental risks tied to cosmetic substances like Octocrylene. This dynamic regulatory landscape reflects a collective effort to balance cosmetic innovation with heightened environmental awareness.

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