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Cosmetics Europe—The Personal Care Association, formerly Colipa, held its annual General Assembly in Brussels, Belgium in June 2012. The scientific forum discussed topics of interest in EU legislation such as The Cosmetics Regulation, which was set to replace the Cosmetics Directive on July 11, 2013.
Paolo Castello, PhD, of the Joint Research Center (JRC), the science service of the European Commission, presented the EU strategy on endocrine disruptors (ED). The aim is twofold: to identify the problems of ED, the causes and consequences; and to identify the appropriate policy action based on the precautionary principle. Castello listed four needs: further research, international cooperation, communication with the public and policy action for the control and regulation of ED.
The cosmetic sector is impacted by REACH, via the authorization process and Annex XIV and the Cosmetics Regulation, which will be reviewed at the latest in January 2015.
The present problem is the lack of detailed criteria for assessment and decision on ED. A draft is expected by the end of 2013, designed for plant protection and biocides, but with an ambition to give a set of criteria horizontally applicable for all legislations. Still, many questions remain on the definition of ED, adverse effects, mode of action and testing.
An expert in nanotechnology, Prof. Marcel Van de Voorde, PhD, from the University of Technology in Delft, gave an enthusiastic presentation on nanos at large. He noted that nanoparticles have a strong evolutionary character and are "the future," despite many challenges: safety issues, societal acceptance, legal framework, toxicology, etc. He called for the creation of European “synergy centers” to merge science, technology, economy and society, and he warned regulatory bodies about a potential excess of rules leading to delocalization of R&D and production, citing the steel and the textile industries.