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8 Apr 2016

Cosmetic UV filters proposed as SVHC

4-MBC & 3-BC

German authorities proposed 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) and 3-benzylidene camphor (3-BC) for being identified as substances of very high concern (SVHCs). ECHA launched the related public consultation, which closes on 14 April 2016.

4-MBC and 3-BC are UV filters mainly used in cosmetic products, such as sunscreens. These substances are endocrine disruptors for the environment, with impact on fish populations. Their use in cosmetics and especially sunscreens leads to direct and indirect emissions to the environment. Their presence was identified in water treatment plants and surface waters across Europe (Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Pacific coast).

4-MBC is included in Annex VI of the Cosmetics Regulation, which lists the UV filters allowed in cosmetic products and can be used in concentrations up to 4%. 3-BC was found unsafe to human health and was baned in cosmetics in July 2015, with a transition period until 18 February 2016.

If 4-MBC and 3-BC are identified as SVHCs, they will be added to the Candidate List for eventual inclusion in the Authorisation List. Substances on the Authorisation List will slowly be phased out from the EU market.