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Parliamentary questions
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3 October 2016
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-006697/2016

Triclosan is a substance with antimicrobial properties which is used in diverse areas and subject to different regulations in the EU.

Triclosan was recently evaluated for its use as an active substance in biocidal products for hygiene purposes (ex: hand disinfectants)(1). It received a negative opinion from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)(2) due to unacceptable risks to the environment. As a consequence, the Commission adopted decision 2016/110/EU(3) to disapprove this substance for this use. The availability and use on the EU market of biocidal products containing triclosan will be banned at the beginning of 2017.

The Commission restricted its use as a preservative in cosmetic products following a risk assessment(4) carried out by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) regarding the safety of triclosan in cosmetic products. Commission Regulation (EU) No 358/2014 of 9 April 2014(5) authorises triclosan as a preservative at the following concentrations:

a) Toothpastes; Hand soaps; Body soaps/Shower gels; Deodorants (non-spray); Face powders and blemish concealers; Nail products for cleaning the fingernails and toenails before the application of artificial nail systems — maximum concentration 0,3%;
b) Mouthwashes — maximum concentration 0,2%

Finally, triclosan has been subject to substance evaluation under REACH(6), with the Netherlands as the evaluating Member State in cooperation with Denmark. The decision to request further information on the substance has been appealed(7). The appeal is currently under investigation by the ECHA's Board of Appeal that conducted an oral hearing on 9 June 2016. A decision is expected in the autumn of 2016.

(7)Appeal Number A-18/2014, see https://echa.europa.eu/about-us/who-we-are/board-of-appeal/announcements

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