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UE restricts the use of silicones D4 and D5 in wash-off cosmetics

The European Commission has acted to restrict the use of silicones octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) in wash-off cosmetics due to the risks their use poses to the environment when they are discharged into waste water. D4 and D5 have been classified as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic and as very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances.

The Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/35 of 10 January 2018 [1] therefore restricts the concentration of D4 and D5 in wash-off cosmetics to 0.1%, after 31 January 2020.

According to the Commission, “the concentration limit of 0,1 % set by this restriction effectively ensures that all intentional use of D4 and D5 will cease since those substances must be present in wash-off cosmetic products in a much higher concentration to perform their intended function.

The restriction does not concern cosmetic products that are intended to stay in prolonged contact with the skin, the hair or the mucous membranes. Indeed, according to the Commission, those products “do not represent the major source of risk to the environment from D4 and D5.



[1Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/35 of 10 January 2018 amending Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as regards octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (‘D4’) and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (‘D5’)

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