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According to EurActiv, European Union (EU) member states adopted new rules on the marketing and safety of cosmetics by grouping the existing 55 directives into a single regulation. One of the key elements of the new laws is a clause requiring companies to print the word "nano" in brackets after any ingredient that is smaller than 100 nanometers in size.
However, EurActiv reported, Germany took the view that highlighting the fact that a product contains nanomaterials could be viewed by consumers as a warning. German officials noted that cosmetic products that are for sale in the EU must already pass stringent safety tests, implying that the inclusion of nano-scale materials should not warrant additional scrutiny. Germany's position is that information on nano-scale materials may be important for consumers where the particle size results in altered properties. This is closer to the industry's preference for defining nanotechnology based on function rather than size.
The new regulation will apply in all 27 EU countries and harmonizes a previously fragmented area of law. The changes are intended to help reduce costs and streamline safety rules.