Cosmetic ingredients based on more or less refined biological matter (plants, fungi, bacteria, etc.) are gaining popularity. Advances in green chemistry and biotechnology are supporting this general trend further.
Following numerous bans on the use of newly generated animal testing data in cosmetic safety assessments, and the worldwide demand for “cruelty-free” products, many alternative methods have been developed to assess the toxicity of ingredients. Whilst great strides have been, and continue to be, made, the area of systemic toxicity is one where international harmonisation and regulatory acceptance is still evolving. A strategy for the fractional assessment of biological matter is suggested to make approaches, such as threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) methodology, fit for purpose. Within this strategy, analytical data are used to generate compound classes which are quantified and assessed separately. Whilst this strategy opens new windows for assessing the safety of complex mixtures with a lack of toxicological data, it also raises awareness of the increasing complexity of cosmetic formulations and the general problem of additivity/synergy being rarely addressed. Extremely complex mixtures are and will be a growing challenge for safety assessors.
The open-access paper on Fractions Of Concern is available:
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