Decrease of the threshold for the warning “releases formaldehyde”

Following a SCCS (the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety) conclusion, the Commission Regulation (EU 2022/1181) decreases the Formaldehyde threshold for the labelling of a warning and changes the warning from ‘contains formaldehyde’ to ‘releases formaldehyde’.

Indeed, the SCCS considers that the present threshold (0.05%) does not sufficiently protect consumers sensitised to formaldehyde from exposure to free formaldehyde from formaldehyde releasers. However, their report highlights that reducing this threshold by a factor of 50 (that is 0.001% (10 ppm)), will protect the vast majority of consumers sensitised to formaldehyde.

This new threshold applies to the total free formaldehyde irrespective of whether a product contains one or more formaldehyde releaser(s).

The formaldehyde-releasing preservatives listed in the Annex V of the Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 are as follows:

Following these conclusions, the European Commission (EC) stated that all finished products containing substances which are listed in Annex V of the Cosmetic Regulation and which release formaldehyde shall be labelled with the warning “releases formaldehyde” where the total concentration of formaldehyde released in the finished product exceeds 0,001 % (10 ppm).

The application deadlines are as below:

  • From the 31st of July 2024 only products complying with the new restriction can be placed on the Union Market.
  • From the 31st of July 2026 only products complying with the new restrictions can be further made available on the Union Market.

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