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EU Responds to Peanut Safety Concerns

December 7, 2017 | Contact Author | By: Brooke Schleehauf
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Peanuts on white background

Keywords: cosmetic regulations | European Commission | EU regulations | peanut oil | peanut oil cosmetics | hydrolyzed wheat protein | wheat protein cosmetics | peanut oil reaction | cosmetics compliance | peanut allergy | wheat allergy

Abstract: In the interest of safety, the European Commission has limited the use of peanut oil and hydrolyzed wheat proteins in cosmetics.

Where concern over adverse reactions grows, regulatory action may follow; in this case, the European Commission (EU) has acted to limit the use of peanut oil and hydrolyzed wheat proteins in cosmetics.

Peanut oil (INCI: Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil) is used as a moisturizing agent in personal care, while hydrolyzed wheat protein (INCI: Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein) acts as a conditioner.

Annex III of the EU’s Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 on cosmetic products now states the following:

  • Peanut oil, extracts and derivatives may only be used in a maximum concentration of 0.5 ppm; and
  • The maximum molecular weight of the average of peptides in hydrolyzed wheat protein may be up to 3.5 KDa.

The amendment comes after reports of cases of contact urticaria (hives) provoked by cosmetics containing hydrolyzed wheat proteins and, according to the amendment, concerns that "the sensitization to peanuts might be induced through skin exposure to peanut oil through the use of cosmetic products.”

Cosmetic products must comply with the limits by Sept. 25, 2018 in order to be placed on the market; non-compliant products will be banned as of Dec. 25, 2018.