Open Access Research

Dangerous cosmetics - criteria for classification, labelling and packaging (EC 1272/2008) applied to personal care products

Ursula Klaschka

Author Affiliations

University of Applied Sciences Ulm, Prittwitzstr. 10, D-89075, Ulm, Germany

Environmental Sciences Europe 2012, 24:37  doi:10.1186/2190-4715-24-37

Published: 29 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Cosmetic products need not be classified and labelled according to the Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) in the European Union, even if they contain dangerous substances. What would happen without this exception? Would cosmetic products have to be labelled if they were treated like any other consumer product?

Results

The criteria of the CLP Regulation were applied to a selection of cosmetic product formulas in a conservative approach. All but one product contain hazardous ingredients in amounts that would lead to classification and labelling of the mixtures. 85% of the products analyzed would have to be labelled because of potential negative effects to the eye, and 52% because of potential negative effects to the skin. The signal word WARNING would have to be on the labels of 64%, DANGER would have to be on 33% of the products.

Conclusions

The results here show that it is urgent to inform consumers about the potential dangers of personal care products, because cosmetics need to be applied even with more care than any other consumer product. Classification and labelling according to the CLP Regulation is a very good means to improve the risk communication for consumers. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the exception for cosmetic products should be repealed in the next amendment of the CLP Regulation.

Keywords:
Classification and labelling; CLP Regulation; Cosmetic products; Information for the consumer; Risk communication