Industry Legislation

NMC Working to Reclassify Chemical in Europe

Benzoyl peroxide, or BPO as it is more commonly known, has been under scrutiny in several European countries, but the NMC is working a commonsense approach for exemption.

For some time now, benzoyl peroxide, or BPO as it is more commonly known, has been under scrutiny in several European countries. In Europe, BPO is classified as a drug (the United States places it in an over-the-counter, or OTC, category), and is therefore not allowed in fingernail applications. BPO is used as an initiator and is the ingredient that causes the liquid component in artificial nail products to harden, or polymerize.

The Nail Manufacturers Council (NMC) has been involved in this issue from the start and is trying to get European authorities to change BPO’s current classification of Annex II to Annex III (a category analogous to our OTC category). That’s why it recently submitted a dossier to European authorities showing that within 24 hours, the chemical becomes part of the nail enhancement and splits in two, rendering it harmless.

According to Doug Schoon, head of research and development for Creative Nail Design and an NMC member, the nail industry has been caught in the crossfire of European authorities wanting to control estheticians’ use of the chemical in facial products. “BPO is used in acne treatments and the European Union doesn’t want estheticians treating acne,” he says. “They’re trying to regulate estheticians, not the nail industry.”

The European Union currently has the dossier and will discuss it later on this year. Schoon says that after reviewing the report, he is certain that officials will allow the use of BPO in nail products. “Hopefully, this misunderstanding will be cleared up before the end of the year,” he says.

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