The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has received a request from the European Commission (EC) for a scientific opinion on the safety of silica in its nano-structured form.

Used as an anti-foaming, anti-caking and skin-conditioning agent in many cosmetic products, concern is reportedly on the rise about the use of silica in nano form because of “the potential high exposure in many types of products and … the potential for nanoparticles of silica to break out of the agglomerates and enter cells.” Last year, SCCS reportedly received 172 notifications for cosmetic products containing silica, hydrated silica, silica sylilate, and silica dimethyl.

Among other things, SCCS seeks information about (i) the types of cosmetic products containing nanosilica; (ii) differences in solubility; (iii) adverse health effects; (iv) toxicological studies; and (v) other relevant scientific data/publications. Information will be accepted until May 31, 2014. See Nanotechnology Industries Association, February 12, 2014.