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International Policies 

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European Union

  • The Eurpoean Union Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC, enacted in 1976) promotes the safety of cosmetic products by regulating products that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction. The Directive focuses on consumer, rather than professional, use of cosmetics.  Although there are some provisions oriented towards the protection of professionals exposed to cosmetics for longer periods of time, the Directive generally presumes that professionals will be more knowledgeable about use and dangers of products than the average consumer.  The Directive places restrictions on certain toxic ingredients and provides rules for product labeling.  The Directive requires manufacturers to prove that their product is safe by means of a product information file.  Finally, the Directive regulates substances in nail products: for example, it classifies toluene as a carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction category 3 substance.