Annual Science and EWG VERIFIED™ Criteria Review

September 1, 2020

By Thomas Galligan, Toxicologist

EWG is in the process of conducting its annual science and criteria review for the EWG VERIFIED™ program.

This process involves compiling and updating information from the scientific and authoritative sources outlined in our criteria, including:

  • U.S. National Toxicology Program
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated Risk Information System, or IRIS
  • Health Canada
  • European Commission, Cosmetic Ingredient Database and Endocrine Disruptors Priority List
  • Japan Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, Cosmetic Directive
  • World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • California Proposition 65
  • Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
  • Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, or AOEC, Exposure Code list
  • International Fragrance Association, or IFRA

EWG’s toxicologists also reviewed several common ingredients and contaminants to ensure the science underlying our assessments is the most current information in the scientific literature. Some of these substances include:

  • 1,4-dioxane: Given new technologies to strip this contaminant from products, we are updating our restriction for 1,4-dioxane in personal care products.
  • Sodium borate and boric acid: We reviewed and incorporated new information from the EU’s Risk Assessment Committee and additional data published indicating adverse effects on infant growth and development.
  • Botanical ingredients: We reviewed the most commonly used botanical ingredients to ensure that allergenic components and phototoxicity were appropriately reflected.
  • Dyes and pigments: We conducted a full toxicological review of all colorants subject to FDA batch certification to reflect the latest EU and U.S. restrictions and related contamination concerns.

Notice of Future Update:

Effective 2021, we will be updating our requirements for allergens labeling. Following our science and criteria update next year, we will require companies to include all relevant allergens on product packaging at the time of verification. Companies will no longer have a one-year grace period to meet this requirement.

Once our science and criteria update is complete, EWG will contact all companies whose products are affected by the changes. Companies will be granted eighteen (18) months from the time the changes are publicly announced to make the necessary adjustments to their formulation and packaging.

For questions about our annual science and criteria update, please contact [email protected].