Fabian Demicoli

Consultation: Toluene – Use determined safe

 Article 4b of Council directive 76/768/EEC relative to cosmetic products provides that:

"the use in cosmetic products of substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction, of category 1, 2 and 3, under Annex I to Directive 67/548/EEC shall be prohibited. A substance classified in category 3 may be used in cosmetics if the substance has been evaluated by the SCCNFP and found acceptable for use in cosmetic products".

Toluene is classified as category 3, toxic for reproduction under Annex I to Council directive 67/548/EEC.  This substance is not regulated in an Annex to the Cosmetics Directive, nor has it been evaluated previously by the SCCNFP/SCCP.  The SCCP delivered its final opinion on 15 April 2008 on the safe use of toluene. In summary it concluded that:

"…inclusion of toluene up to 25% is safe from the general toxicological view in nail cosmetics used as intended in adults and children. However, the SCCP would like to point out that there is a foreseeable risk of increased inhalation by children as part of the normal playing behaviour from cosmetics promoted as children's toys. Therefore, the use of toluene in such products is not considered appropriate".

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