A draft European Union would add a restriction on two ingredients used in wash-off products, such as hair conditioners and shower gels, to prevent the substances from being washed into wastewater.
World Trade Organization members have until April 20 to file comments on the draft regulation, which would add the restriction on the ingredients to the annexes of the bloc’s REACH chemicals law (Regulation No. 1907/2006 on the registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals).
The regulation would limit to 0.1 percent by weight the presence in wash-off products of two hazardous substances, octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5). The restriction would cover products sold in the EU and would take effect two years after entry into force of the regulation.
According to the draft regulation, D4 and D5 persist and accumulate in the environment, and the 0.1 percent limit is necessary to prevent the substances from being washed into wastewater.
The regulation added that the 0.1 percent limit “effectively ensures that all intentional use of D4 and D5 will cease since those substances must be present in wash-off cosmetic products in a much higher concentration to perform their intended function.”