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It looks like the FDA is getting ready to do something about nanotechnology. If you don’t know nanotechnology refers to the use of nano-sized particles in formulations and consumer products. In cosmetics, they have been used in sunscreens and skin products.
Many consumer groups don’t think they are safe and they are calling for government to regulate their use. Of course, industry doesn’t think there is a problem and the scientific evidence that has been collected thus far (at least related to sunscreens) supports that view.
As the next step to regulation, the FDA has released a draft guidance on nanotechnology. In it they are attempting to discuss some of the characteristics that make something “nanotechnology” and they are giving consumer groups and industry a chance to weigh in with an opinion. The FDA first formed the Nanotechnology Task Force group to look at the emerging technology and how they might address safety issues.
You can go to the FDA website to see the latest release.
Now, if all goes as usual with the FDA you might be able to expect some draft guidelines in the next 10 years and 30 or 40 years from now some official regulation. At least this is how things have gone with the FDA Sunscreen monograph. It still hasn’t been issued and it over 30 years since it first got started.
As a cosmetic chemist dealing with government regulation can be challenging.
“Omics” is a combination of genomics (which is the study of gene expression), proteomics which is the study of proteins and their effect on gene activity, and metabolomics which is the study of biochemical processes in cells.
Reportedly, they are using this technique to determine how compounds can affect over 9.4 million gene changes and protein expressions just from one experiment.
They say the approach has already shown that there is a difference in UV sensitivity between male and female skin.
I do like that P&G really focuses on applying the latest in science. It would be great if this leads to the development of even more advanced skin care products. Of course, someone has to do something about cosmetic regulations. If any of these ingredients are found to interact with genes, proteins, and skin cell metabolism, they would no longer be considered cosmetics in the US and would fall under drug regulations.
I don’t know why no one in our industry seems to be worried about this. Perhaps it’s because the FDA takes so long to make any changes that no one thinks it’s worth their time & effort. Really, the PCPC should be pushing for revised legislation.
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7. Production Aides
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Interview: Dennis Abbeduto
Dennis Abbeduto has been a senior scientist at Alberto Culver and was formerly an R&D chemist for the McIntyre Group, a cosmetic raw material supplier. He has worked in the industry over 14 years and recently took a job with Colonial Chemicals. He is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists having served the Midwest SCC as webmaster and Chair.
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Perry Romanowski will be speaking at the HBA 2011 event in New York on June 29, 2011
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Chemists Corner is a podcast about cosmetic science and is broadcast to help educate, entertain, and inspire current and future cosmetic scientists. The information and opinions discussed on Chemists Corner are those of the hosts and the guests alone. They do not necessarily reflect those of any past, present or future employers.