China Gets Tougher on Cosmetics

The list of substances banned from cosmetics in China has doubled with the introduction of a new regulation. According to reports, the Ministry of Health announced this legislation will take effect July 1, 2007, and it reportedly is aimed to better match international standards for cosmetics in the European Union and the United States, in addition to strengthening the supervision of domestic cosmetic production.

The regulation adds a reported 790 new substances to the list of substances banned in the production of cosmetics, bringing the total to 1,286. It also modifies the lists of raw materials for making hair dyes and sunscreen products and outlines methods of testing for banned substances. The regulation sets new evaluation standards for sunscreen products and for the testing and labeling of their water-proof qualities.

The ministry first issued health standards for cosmetics in 2002, banning 412 substances. According to the People's Daily, Zhang Heyong, director of the China Quality Association for Pharmaceuticals, said in December 2006 that weak government supervision and a lack of compulsory testing of ingredients had lead to safety worries.


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