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EU Projects - Summaries of EC Scientific Assessments

The Co-Publications below are summaries of scientific reports of EU scientific committees, produced under contract with the DG Health and Consumers of the European Commission. The summaries are peer-reviewed and the publication process is overseen by the Commission.
They are published both on the European Commission's website and on copublications.greenfacts.org

Allergenic fragrances

Fragrance ingredients are used in consumer goods to give them a specific, usually pleasant smell. They can sometimes cause skin irritations or allergic reactions.

Is the list of fragrance substances that have to be identified on consumer products sufficient, or are there more that should be added to the list? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Silver Nanoparticles

Are silver nanoparticles safe for your health and for the environment? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Artificial Light and Health

Must we be cautious when using artificial light? More...

Summary available in [en] [fr

Biocides

There is concern that this widespread use of biocides, such as disinfectants, preservatives and antiseptics, may lead to the emergence or proliferation of harmful bacteria that are resistant to both biocides and antibiotics.

In the light of current scientific evidence, can biocides lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Electromagnetic Fields

Safety limits have been set by the European Union to protect workers and the general public against the effects of mobile phones and other electromagnetic fields. Are these safety limits adequate ?
The Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) of the European Commission has reviewed recent scientific evidence. More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Energy Saving Lamps

Currently, conventional incandescent lamps are in the process of being replaced with more energy-efficient lamps, mainly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Fluorescent light has been used for many years in overhead fluorescent tubes without causing any problems. Nevertheless, certain “light sensitive” citizens’ associations have voiced concerns about compact fluorescent lamps.

Do these energy-saving lamps aggravate the symptoms in patients with certain diseases? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Artificial Light

New energy saving lighting technologies are being used more and more.

Can these new artificial light sources affect the health of the general public or of light-sensitive people? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Indoor Air Quality

Much progress has been made in Europe in improving outdoor air quality and limit values have been set for several pollutants. However, indoor air quality also requires attention because this is where we spend most of our time.

Which indoor air pollutants raise concern? How can indoor air quality be determined? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Mercury from dental amalgam

What are the environmental risks and indirect health effects of mercury from dental amalgam? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Mercury in CFL

Does the mercury they contain pose a risk to consumers?

Are compact fluorescent lamps beneficial to the environment compared to other lamps? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Methylene glycol

Is the use of methylene glycol in hair straightening products safe? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Nanotechnologies

Nanotechnologies represent a fast-growing market and are already being widely used. Yet, materials containing nanoparticles may be of concern for human health and the environment.

Are the existing methodologies to assess the risks appropriate? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Non-human primates

Because of their genetic similarities to humans, more than 100 000 monkeys and apes are used every year around the world for biomedical research and for testing the safety of new drugs.

Are there alternatives to the use of non-human primates in research and testing? Would it be feasible to stop using them altogether? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Parabens used in cosmetics

Parabens are a group of chemicals that are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, shower gels and body creams.

They effectively prevent the growth of microorganisms. Is the way that they are used safe? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Allergies

Fragrance ingredients are used in consumer goods to give them a specific, usually pleasant smell. They can sometimes cause skin irritations or allergic reactions.

Is the list of fragrance substances that have to be identified on consumer products sufficient, or are there more that should be added to the list? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Personal Music Players & Hearing

In recent years, sales of personal music players have soared and an increasing proportion of the population, particularly young people, is exposed to high sound volumes.

In the light of current scientific knowledge, can the use of personal music players damage hearing? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Phthalates in school supplies

Some school supplies, such as erasers, contain phthalates – substances that are added to plastics to make them soft.

Can regularly chewing on such articles cause harmful health effects? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Accidental poisoning

Some consumer products are packaged to imitate food or appeal to children. This is for instance the case of certain shower gels, liquid soaps and dish-washing liquids. It is likely that these could be swallowed if confused with food.

Who runs the greatest risk and what increases the likelihood of serious poisoning? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Security Scanners

Because of increased concern over terrorist attacks on aircraft, new security scanners have been developed to screen passengers at airports, some using x-rays.

Is their use safe for passengers and workers? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Sunbeds & UV radiation

In addition to natural sunlight, sunbed users expose themselves to substantial amounts of artificial UV radiation.
The European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Products assessed the health and safety implications of both natural and artificial UV radiation? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles

Are sunscreens with titanium dioxide nanoparticles safe? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Dental Amalgams

Dental amalgams containing mercury have long been used as a tooth filling material, but alternative tooth-coloured materials are increasingly used. How safe and effective are different tooth filling materials? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Tooth Whiteners

To date, millions of tooth whitening kits have been sold across the world to consumers seeking to brighten their smiles. The whitening ingredient in these products is hydrogen peroxide.

Are toothpastes, mouth-rinses and tooth whitening products containing hydrogen peroxide safe? Should they be freely available to consumers? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Triclosan

Triclosan is added to many consumer goods such as cosmetics and detergents to kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth. It is a widely used disinfectant, and there is concern that this widespread use may lead to the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to both biocides and antibiotics.

Can triclosan lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

X-Ray Full-Body Scanners

To improve airport security in the light of terrorist threats new full-body scanners have been developed to complement existing metal detectors and hand searches.

How safe are such X-ray security scanners for passengers, in particular for frequent flyers? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is a white powder which is widely used in a variety of applications, one of which being in cosmetic products as a UV filter. New technologies have recently allowed the use of nano- sized zinc oxide particles.

Are these different to conventional zinc oxide in terms of physical and chemical properties and toxicity? More...

Summary available in [de] [en] [es] [fr