High level British report flags toxic risks of tiny-tech ingredients now used in Australian cosmetics

\HighA British Royal Commission report to be released today has called for “urgent regulation” to manage the serious toxic risks posed by nanomaterials now in commercial use. The Commission drew particular attention to the toxic risks of carbon fullerenes or ‘bucky balls’, which Friends of the Earth has found in several cosmetics and face creams now on sale in Australia.

Media Release – Friends of the Earth Australia


12 November 2008

High level British report flags toxic risks of tiny-tech ingredients now used in Australian cosmetics

A British Royal Commission report to be released today has called for “urgent regulation” to manage the serious toxic risks posed by nanomaterials now in commercial use. The Commission drew particular attention to the toxic risks of carbon fullerenes or ‘bucky balls’, which Friends of the Earth has found in several cosmetics and face creams now on sale in Australia*.

“The British Royal Commission has warned that carbon fullerenes – tiny soccer ball shaped nanoparticles – pose especially high toxic risks. Their use in shaving cream, cosmetics and face creams sold in Australia is therefore extremely concerning”, said Friends of the Earth nanotechnology spokesperson Georgia Miller.

“Scientists have demonstrated that carbon fullerenes can penetrate intact skin. There is a serious risk that using fullerene-containing cosmetics will cause harm”.

“Investigation by Friends of the Earth has found that cosmetics sold in Australia – including by Sircuit, Dr Brandt and N.V. Perricone M.D. – are now advertised as containing fullerenes. Yet the national cosmetics regulator appears to asleep at the wheel. It has failed to require the product manufacturers to conduct new safety tests of these high risk ingredients”.

“Cosmetics containing ingredients identified by the British Royal Commission as particularly high risk are now on sale in Australia without any safety assessment having been carried out by our federal cosmetics regulator. This is a major embarrassment for NICNAS,” said Ms Miller.

“Friends of the Earth highlighted the serious toxic risks of fullerenes over 2 years ago when we released an in depth report on nanotechnology in cosmetics. What will it take for NICNAS to stop the sale of high risk nano-cosmetics and to start putting public health concerns ahead of those of the cosmetics industry?”

For comment: Georgia Miller 0437 979 402

* Products include:

N.V. Perricone M.D. Shaving Cream: http://www.essentialmall.com.au/product.php?id=23664

Sircuit Addict: http://www.boutiqueskinstore.com.au/products/sircuit-addict-30ml.html

Sircuit White Out: http://www.boutiqueskinstore.com.au/products/white-out-15ml.html

Dr Brandt Laser Lightning Serum: http://www.fragrancesandcosmetics.com.au/skincare/Dr__Brandt_Laser_Light...