Issue Date: November 28, 2016
EU proposes to limit furfural in cosmetics
The European Union is considering a plan to limit the concentration of furfural in cosmetic products to 0.001%, citing carcinogenicity concerns. The substance is used as a scent in oral care products, perfumes, shampoos, soaps, and other toiletries, according to the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU. As part of its safety program, the industry group International Fragrance Association already requires its members to restrict the amount of furfural to 0.001% in products designed for contact with skin and to 0.05% in other products. The government’s proposal would give companies nine months to stop placing cosmetic products on the EU market with furfural concentrations greater than 0.001% and 12 months to withdraw noncompliant products. The EC says the transition periods are necessary “as any modification of a fragrance composition is a complex process, which requires sufficient time for obtaining a satisfying olfactory result.” The commission is seeking comments from the public about its proposal until early next year.
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