A preliminary opinion on Benzophenone-4 (CAS No. 4065-45-6) with the chemical name ‘2-Hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone-5-sulphonic acid’ was issued by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) and it is open for comments until February 16, 2024.
SCCS Preliminary Opinion on Benzophenone-4: The Background
On November 7, 2018, the Commission conducted a review of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products, specifically focusing on substances with endocrine-disrupting (ED) properties. As part of the review, the Commission committed to establishing a priority list for potential EDs not covered by existing bans or restrictions in the Cosmetics Regulation, leading to the identification of 28 potential EDs in cosmetics.
The Commission carried out a public call for data in 2019 for 14 substances (Group A)3 and a second call in 2021 for 10 substances (Group B)5 in preparation of the safety assessment of these substances. Benzophenone 4 is one of the above-mentioned substances for which the call for data took place.
What is Benzophenone-4?
Benzophenone is an organic ketone-aromatic compound, including Benzophenone-3, Benzophenone-4, and Benzophenone-5, all approved in sunscreens under the EC regulation for cosmetic products.
Benzophenone-4 (benzophenone cosmetics) is a soluble UV-BB filter that provides protection against both UV-B and UV-A rays, with a maximum concentration of 5%. UV filters play a crucial role in sun protection products, preventing premature aging and the risk of skin cancer. While organic filters absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat, pigment-based filters reflect and disperse light on the skin’s surface. The distinctive features of organic UV filters, such as absorption range, photo stability, and solubility, classify them into UV-A, UV-B, and broad-spectrum categories based on the absorbed wavelengths.
Benzophenone in cosmetics: What is the reason behind the issuance of the SCCS Preliminary Opinion?
Is Benzophenone-4 safe?
On the basis of the safety assessment, and considering the concerns related to potential endocrine disrupting properties of benzophenone-4, the SCCS concluded:
Benzophenone-4 is safe when used as UV filter up to a maximum concentration of 5% in sunscreen, face and hand cream, lipstick, sunscreen propellant spray and pump spray, when used separately or in combination (based on deterministic aggregated exposure).
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