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ERMA Boosts Cosmetic Safety

MEDIA RELEASE

24 July 2008

ERMA Boosts Cosmetic Safety

ERMA New Zealand has amended the Cosmetic Products Group Standard 2006 to take into account changes to European Union's Cosmetic Directives.

General manager hazardous substances Andrea Eng said the European Directives are the cosmetic industry's benchmark standard.

"We like to keep aligned with the European Union. This amendment brings us more or less up to date and picks up most of the changes made since our group standard was established in 2006." One of the changes is to phase out some chemicals used in hair dyes that may cause adverse reactions. For example, 2-aminomethyl para aminophenol was banned in Europe in July 2006 with effect in different countries on various dates since then. It will now be prohibited in New Zealand.

In addition, all chemicals contained in cosmetic products will need to be disclosed on the label from 24 July 2009.

Following the discovery of the antifreeze diethylene glycol (DEG) in some imported toothpastes, the group standard also bans its use as an ingredient in oral hygiene products including toothpaste.

In order to harmonise trans-Tasman labelling requirements, sunscreens sold in New Zealand will be permitted to be labelled in accordance with Australian legislation.

The changes to the Cosmetic Products Group Standard come into effect on 22 August 2008. There is a transitional period for cosmetic products already legally in use in New Zealand. They have one year to implement the changes. The transitional period does not apply to products newly imported into New Zealand.

The restriction on DEG in toothpaste comes into force on 22 August 2008.

The revised Cosmetic Products Group Standard can be found at: http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/hs/groupstandards/standards/cosmetics/cosmeticshtml

ENDS

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