The European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) has issued opinions on four cosmetic ingredients and will accept comments until August 18, 2014. SCCS has concluded that hydrolysed wheat proteins (HWPs) are safe in most cosmetic products, with the exception of soaps, due to a higher risk of sensitization. HWPs function as a “surfactant, film-former, foaming agent, hydrating agent, antistatic, and softener in cosmetics.” They can also apparently be present in food.

As to 2-(4-(2-(4-Diethylamino-2-hydroxy-benzoyl)-benzoyl)-piperazine-1- carbonyl)-phenyl)- (4-diethylamino-2-hydroxyphenyl)-methanone (HAA299), which is used as a UV filter in sunscreen products, SCCS has concluded that it is safe “at a concentration up to 10%” and up to this level “does not pose any risk of systemic toxicity in humans.” Mutagenicity risk in consumers “is considered negligible.”

The SCCS opinion on acid orange 7 found the substance safe for use in hair dyes up to “a final on-head concentration of 0.8% under oxidative conditions and 0.5% under non-oxidative conditions.” Lacking information about the ingredient’s concentration, SCCS did not, however, finalize its assessment of the colorant in other cosmetic products, such as eye make-up and eye make-up remover.

Regarding the safety of poly(hexamethylene) biguanide hydrochloride (PHMB), SCCS reached no conclusions. Used as a preservative in cosmetic products at a maximum permitted concentration in the European Union of 0.3 percent, PHMB is apparently useful against “a wide range of Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, fungi and yeasts and is particularly effective against difficult to control microorganisms such as Pseudomonas species.” SCCS lacked sufficient data on its genotoxic potential and dermal absorption. Unless SCCS can find PHMB safe for use in cosmetic products, it will be prohibited as of January 1, 2015, because it is classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic.