Are you sure?

EU to ban 22 hair-dye substances in December on health worries

The EU is forcing cosmetics companies such as L'Oreal SA and Wella AG to prove the safety of products in the region's € 2.6 billion ($3.3 billion) hair-dye market. The Dec. 1 ban will cover substances for which manufacturers provided no safety assessment. Substances for which there is no proof that they are safe will disappear from the market, EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said in a statement today in Brussels. He is a member of the European Commission, the EU's regulatory arm, which said more than 60% of women and up to 10% of men color their hair. The 25-nation EU is seeking to tighten regulation of hair dyes after a scientific study said long-term use of some colorings might cause bladder cancer. The 22 targeted substances account for about 7% of total hair-coloring ingredients in the European market. The substances to be prohibited are not used very broadly, Florian Schellauf, a manager at the European Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association in Brussels, said by telephone. There's not a big industry interest in these ingredients. Cosmetics companies have submitted safety evaluations to the EU for 115 hair-dye substances and are awaiting the commission's approval of them. Meanwhile, these substances can continue to be used. Manufacturers represented by the European cosmetics association have no intention of filing safety reports for the remaining substances, Schellauf said. Should no safety files be submitted for these approximately 160 ingredients, they would ultimately be banned, along with the 22 now targeted, said Gregor Kreuzhuber, a commission spokesman. The commission said it notified the Geneva-based World Trade Organization of the ban due in December under the procedure on technical barriers to trade. (Bloomberg)