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Parliamentary questions
20 May 2016
E-001572/2016
Answer given by Ms Bieńkowska on behalf of the Commission

The Commission is carefully examining the results of the study referred to in view of clarifying whether triclosan should be considered as a potential carcinogen.

Triclosan is authorised as a preservative under Annex V to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products(1). Taking into account human health concerns, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) published an opinion in 2011(2) concluding the use of triclosan should be restricted. Accordingly, the Commission adopted Regulation (EU) No 358/2014(3) restricting the use of triclosan as a preservative to a maximum concentration of 0.2% in mouthwashes and 0.3% in other product categories.

Currently, the Commission has no indication that higher health risks could result from the use of triclosan in cosmetic products, but should such data become available, the Commission will request a re-assessment of this issue.

Following an opinion of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)(4) delivered under the Biocidal Product Regulation (EU) No 528/2012(5), the Commission has recently adopted the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/110(6) to ban triclosan for its biocidal use as a disinfectant for human hygiene (e.g. hand soap disinfectants), as the evaluation of this use showed unacceptable risks to the environment.

ECHA updates annually the list of substances subject to substance evaluation under REACH(7) aiming to clarify concerns on potential risks to human health and/or the environment(8). ECHA's Public Activity Coordination Tool (PACT)(9) lists substances for which hazard assessment activities or risk management option analyses are ongoing or completed.

(1) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009R1223&from=EN
(2) SCCS/1414/11: http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_054.pdf
(3) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014R0358&from=RO
(4) ECHA/BPC/066/2015: http://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/efc985e4-8802-4ebb-8245-29708747a358
(5) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:02012R0528-20140425
(6) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016D0110&from=EN
(7) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32006R1907
(8) http://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/evaluation/community-rolling-action-plan/corap-table
(9) http://echa.europa.eu/addressing-chemicals-of-concern/substances-of-potential-concern/pact

Last updated: 20 May 2016Legal notice