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Benzophenone-3 European Limits Redefined

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Sunscreen Ingredient Safety

Europe will soon keep closer tabs on benzophenone-3 in personal care products—limits on the UV filter will be significantly reduced to 6% w/w in sunscreens and 0.5% w/w in other cosmetic products, per the European Commission (EC). This limit will go into effect on September 3, 2017.

The ingredient, also known as 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone/oxybenzone, was formerly permitted at 10% w/w. Under the new reduction, any products containing more than 0.5% w/w will be required to state on the label that the item “Contains Benzophenone-3.”

This regulation follows up on the EC's Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products (SCCP) research in December 2008, which found this level of benzophenone-3 does not pose risks to human health, except for potential contact allergenic and photoallergenic properties. The reduction falls under Regulation (EU) 2017/238, and amended Annex VI to Regulation (EC) 1223/2009.

For more information on the limit, head to sgs.com.

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