by Raissa Havens
The topic of plastic microbeads in cosmetics has given rise to many regulations around the world. There is a concern about pollution and their impact on the environment and consequently human health due to their characteristics such as low degradability and non-solubility in water.
Microbeads are small solid plastic particles that can be found in formulations of cosmetics, such as facial scrubs and toothpaste, measuring less than 5mm in diameter. Many countries that are members of the OECD have already banned products that contain microbeads, and Argentina became the first country in South America to implement the ban.
The Senate and Chamber of Deputies of Argentina, meeting in Congress on November 30, 2020 ratified Law 27602, prohibiting the production, import and marketing of cosmetic products and oral hygiene products for dental use that contain intentionally added plastic microbeads.
The Law defines cosmetics as: preparations consisting of natural or synthetic substances or their mixtures, for external use in the various parts of the human body (skin, capillary system, nails, lips, teeth), and mucous membranes of the oral cavity. It includes products such as soaps, creams, makeup, toothpastes, mouthwashes, enamels, to which plastic microbeads are intentionally added for exfoliating and abrasive purposes.
The enforcement authority of this law is the National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) or the body that will replace it in the future.
Under Article 3, violations of this law will be considered as serious, and will be sanctioned according to the provisions of Law 16463 and its regulations.
The Law was promulgated on December 18, 2020 and published in the Official Gazette on December 29, 2020. Companies will have two years from the publication date of this law to adapt to this new rule and exhaust available stock.
Recommended Action Items
If you manufacture or sell cosmetics covered by the definition described above, or oral hygiene products for dental use, verify the chemical composition of your products to ensure your product is compliant within the national market of Argentina.
Law 27602 of December 29, 2020. https://www.argentina.gob.ar/normativa/nacional/ley-27602-345720
Argentina, Cosmetics, Plastics, Microbeads, Ministry of Health
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