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Danish EPA report provides in-depth assessment of nano-enabled technologies in cosmetics

Date: 22/2/2016

A new report published by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a comprehensive evaluation of the knowledge base regarding nano-enabled technologies in cosmetics, specifically addressing soluble nano-transporters.

The report is the final output of a project funded under the Danish EPA’s “Better Control of Nano” initiative 2012 – 2015 which aimed to further clarify possible risks to consumers and the environment from the use of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market.

The overall objectives of the project, which was jointly undertaken by DHI and the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), were to:

  1. perform an extensive literature search on soluble nano transporters and the extent of their use in cosmetics;
  2. undertake an assessment of the properties of the soluble nano transporters used in cosmetics, including their influence on toxicokinetics and toxicity;
  3. develop conclusions on the use and effects of soluble nano transporters in cosmetics and recommendations on how the definition of nanomaterials within the EU Cosmetics Regulation, may be adapted to take effects from "nano-enabled" technologies in cosmetics into account.

The report, which is accompanied by a database of appraised scientific literature, addresses the following areas:

  • types and uses of soluble nano-transporters in cosmetic applications;
  • assessment of the extent of dermal absorption/ penetration of nano-transporters;
  • evidence of dermal/ systemic toxicity arising from interactions with nano-transporters;
  • identification of nano-specific characteristics that may influence dermal absorption/toxicity of nano-transporters;
  • identification of the specific research areas that require more knowledge;
  • discussion of the extent to which provisions on nanomaterials in the EU Cosmetic Regulation are to be applied for nano-transporters.

The full report and accompanying database is accessible on the Danish EPA website.

Source: IOM/SAFENANO

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4 µm is the median aerodynamic diameter of particles that fall within the respirable size range.