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Parliamentary questions
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24 February 2015
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-000498/2015

Chemicals used in cosmetics and their ingredients are subject not only to the Cosmetics Regulation(1) but also to the REACH Regulation(2) which requires companies who manufacture in the EU and place chemical substances on the EU market to provide and communicate information about the properties and uses of those substances in order to control the risks those substances may pose.

Essentially, when the chemical substance is used for other purposes in addition to making cosmetics, animal testing may have to be carried out (as a last resort) as required under REACH to obtain information about the risks involved in those other uses.

The cosmetics legislation does not protect the health and safety of workers handling the substances used to manufacture cosmetics. Worker exposure to ingredients during the manufacturing of cosmetics can be very different to consumer exposure to the final cosmetic product. Workers may handle substances in greater quantities, with higher concentrations and more frequently than consumers. Therefore animal testing may be required to protect people working in that industry even for substances that have no other uses than in cosmetics.

It must be stressed that the promotion of alternative methods to animal testing is also among the objectives of the REACH Regulation. In order to avoid animal testing, testing on vertebrate animals for the purposes of REACH must be undertaken only as a last resort, if no other method can be used to provide the required information.

(1)Commission Regulation (EU) No 344/2013, OJ L 114, 25.4.2013, p. 1‐59.
(2)Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, OJ L 396, 30.12.2006.

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