Cosmetic Ingredient Review

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The Cosmetics Industry Review (CIR) is a panel established and funded by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC, sometimes referred to by its old acronym, CTFA). On its website, PCPC states that "the Cosmetic Ingredient Review thoroughly reviews and assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publishes the results in the open, peer-reviewed scientific literature." [1]

On its website, PCPC states that the CIR was established in 1976 "with support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. Although funded by CTFA, CIR and the review process are independent from CTFA and the cosmetics industry."


CIR has been described by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as "the largely self-policing safety review board of the cosmetics industry." [2] (pdf file) In March 2005, EWG noted: [3]

In its near 30-year history, however, the industry's panel has reviewed just 11 percent of the 10,500 cosmetic ingredients cataloged by FDA (FDA 2000). The 89 percent of ingredients that remain unassessed are used in more than 99 percent of all products on the market (EWG 2004a). ...
Grossly underfunded and encumbered by a cosmetic safety law that renders the Agency nearly impotent, FDA's cosmetic office has no standing cosmetic review safety committee, cannot require testing of products or ingredients, cannot require companies to report injuries or even deaths from the use of their products, and cannot force companies to recall harmful products (FDA 1995). Instead, the Agency sends a liaison to the industry's safety panel meetings to observe and comment.
Eighty percent of the industry panel's reviews are limited to advice to industry on ingredient levels that will minimize risk of skin rashes and other allergic reactions (EWG 2004a). And 89 percent of ingredients used in cosmetics have not even received a rash and allergy review from the industry panel, let alone a serious assessment of the ingredients' potential to cause cancer or harm the development of a baby in the womb.


Voting Members

Liaison Members

Staff Members

Expert Panel

New members in 2009: [1]

Contact details

1101 17th St. N. W. Suite 310
Washington D. C. 20036-4702
Phone: 202-331-0651
Fax: 202-331-0088
Email: cirinfo AT

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Press release, "ULM professor appointed to national review expert panel," University of Louisiana at Monroe, February 6, 2009.

External resources

External articles