Benzophenone-4: SCCS Preliminary Opinion


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).

If you would like to delve into the details of the preliminary assessment of Benzophenone-4 conducted by the SCCS and understand how it may impact your cosmetic products, we are here to assist you. Our team of cosmetic regulation experts is ready to address your inquiries and provide specialized guidance.

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