Zinc Oxide used as a colorant

The EU Commission published a new piece of legislation (Regulation EU No 2017/1413) that restricts the use of Zinc Oxide when used as a colorant (CAS 1314-13-2, CI 77947). Zinc Oxide is an official colorant listed in Annex IV (Entry 144). Until now, it could be added (in its non-nano form) at any concentration in all product categories.

The SCCS raised concerns about the use of Zinc Oxide when there is a risk of inhalation as the particles of this colorant have the potential to cause lung inflammations. On this basis, the EU Commission decided to limit the use of Zinc Oxide (as a colorant) to applications that cannot lead to exposure of consumers’ lungs. Loose powders and other cosmetic products that may lead to exposure of consumers’ lungs fall within the scope of this regulation.

This new amendment to the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC No 1223/2009) will enter into force on August 24th, 2017 and short transition periods have been granted by the EU Commission:

  • From February 24th, 2018 (6 months from now) only cosmetic products which comply with this Regulation shall be placed on the Union market (namely, no further placing on the market of non-compliant products after this date).
  • From May 24th, 2018 (9 months from now) only cosmetic products which comply with this Regulation shall be made available on the Union market (namely, non-compliant products are withdrawn from the market by this date).

Any questions?