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Policy

EU plans for greater restriction of D4 and D5

by Cheryl Hogue
April 24, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 17

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is expanding its plan for restricting the use of two siloxanes in personal care and other products. The chemicals are octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5), both classified as very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances by the European Union. In recent years, ECHA has moved toward restricting the amount of D4 or D5 in wash-off personal care products such as shower gels, shaving foams, and shampoos to no more than 0.1% by weight. At the request of the European Commission, the EU’s administrative arm, ECHA is planning to enlarge this expected restriction to cover personal care products designed to be left on the body—such as creams—as well as consumer and professional products for washing and cleaning. Silicones Europe, a trade association representing major manufacturers of silicones in Europe, supports ECHA’s plans for wash-off products. But it calls the move to restrict the two siloxanes in leave-on personal care products “premature.” The industry group is particularly concerned about D5, which it says has unique properties that contribute to product innovation.

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