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The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) Published their Final Opinion on the Endocrine Disrupting Properties of Homosalate

The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) is one of the independent scientific committees managed by the Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission, which provide scientific advice to the Commission on issues related to non-food issues. The Committee provides Opinions on health and safety risks (chemical, biological, mechanical and other physical risks) of non-food consumer products (e.g. cosmetic products and their ingredients, toys, textiles, clothing, personal care and household products) and services (e.g. tattooing, artificial sun tanning).

At a plenary (all members of all parties are to attend) meeting on June 24-25, 2021, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety published a new report on the endocrine disrupting properties of homosalate. On the basis of safety assessment of homosalate, and considering the concerns related to potential endocrine disrupting properties, the SCCS has concluded that homosalate is not safe when used as a UV-filter in cosmetic products at concentrations of up to 10%. 

Alternatively, what is according to the SCCS, the maximum concentration considered safe for use of homosalate as a UV-filter in cosmetic products? In the SCCS’s opinion, the use of homosalate as a UV filter in cosmetic products is safe for the consumer up to a maximum concentration of 0.5% homosalate in the final product. 

The use of Homosalate at the lower concentrations may have a bearing on efficacy as UV filter, however this is outside the SCCS remit to assess the efficacy of cosmetic ingredients. 

In the U.S., the FDA has issued a proposed rule, which asks manufacturers to provide more data about the safety of several sunscreen ingredients. These sunscreen ingredients have been used in the United States for years. 

The FDA is proposing that two ingredients are “generally recognized as safe and effective” (GRASE). These ingredients are: 

  • Titanium dioxide
  • Zinc oxide 

The FDA proposes that two other ingredients are not GRASE - you won’t find either of these ingredients in sunscreen legally sold in the United States: 

  • PABA
  • Tolamine salicylate 

The FDA is calling for more safety data on the following 12 ingredients before determining whether these ingredients can be classified as GRASE: 

  • Ingredients commonly used in the U.S.: ensulizole, octisalate, homosalate, octocrylene, octinoxate, oxybenzone, avobenzone. 
  • Ingredients not frequently used in the U.S.: Cinoxate, dioxybenzone, meradimate, padimate O, sulisobenzone. 

A long list of harmful ingredients banned in the EU are legally allowed in the U.S. due to historically relaxed regulations. Many Americans are unaware that they are absorbing untested and unsafe chemicals in their products. The disparity in standards between the EU and US has grown to the extent it touches almost every element of most Americans’ lives. In cosmetics alone, the EU has banned or restricted more than 1,300 chemicals while the US has outlawed or curbed just 11.

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