Title: Flawless or Fallible? A review of the applicability of the European Union’s cosmetics Directive in relation to nano-cosmetics
Authors: Bowman, Diana ×
Van Calster, Geert #
Issue Date: Dec-2008
Publisher: The Berkeley Electronic Press
Series Title: Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology vol:2 issue:3 pages:1-35
Article number: 6
Abstract: Consumer demand for new products within the cosmetics and toiletries industry has encouraged
the industry increasingly to incorporate and experiment with new products and processes,
including nanotechnologies. A number of cosmetic products which claim to incorporate engineered
nano-materials have already entered the market and include, for instance, anti-ageing
creams, make up, hair care products, cleansers and moisturisers. While the use of engineered
nano-materials within cosmetics offers a range of benefits, including increased transparency and
solubility, there has been increasing debate over the potential risks associated with a number of
the nano-materials already found in these products. While such concerns are not unique to the
cosmetics sector, due to the direct application of these products onto the human skin, concern
has been expressed over the potential health effects of nanotechnology-based cosmetics. This is
despite the fact that cosmetic products are subject to regulatory controls within every jurisdiction
in which they are sold. With debate over the safety of cosmetics containing nano-materials likely
to escalate in line with the number of products entering the marketplace, this article examines the
adequacy of the current regulatory framework for cosmetics containing nanoscale materials within
one of the world’s largest cosmetic’s market, the European Union. Two case studies are presented,
and the effectiveness of the Cosmetics Directive is examined by reference to these two products.
By drawing on this analysis, the article articulates the strengths and weaknesses of the current
regulatory regime, and discusses how these may be addressed under the proposed new regulatory
ISSN: 1941-6008
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Research Unit International and Foreign Law - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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