Govt introduces standards for cosmetic items

Published On: September 28, 2019 08:15 AM NPT By: Priyanka Adhikari

KATHMANDU, Sept 28: Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology (NBSM) finalized three sets of standards for different groups of cosmetic items earlier this week. A meeting of Nepal Council for Standardization (NCS) headed by Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Matrika Prasad Yadav, took the decision to approve the Nepal Standards-2019 for cosmetics recently which is to be effective for all imported, produced, cosmetics and sale, distribution and uses of cosmetics in Nepal. 

“The standards were determined in response to seven years of research led by the Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED),” said Ram Chandra Sah, executive director of CEPHED, in a statement issued following the decision on Tuesday. 

It said these cosmetic standards were formulated using the rights concurred by Nepal Standards (Certification Mark) Act-1980, NBSM through a series of consultation meetings with all stakeholders including the Ministry of Forest and Environment; Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies; Department of Customs; Central Department of Chemistry, Tribhuvan University and CEPHED. Also industries like Dabur Nepal Pvt Ltd, Unilever Nepal Limited, Blue Bell Herbal Products and cosmetic enterprises like Rasmila Facial House were also consulted while finalizing the criteria. 

“These standards are made very comprehensive and broadly include the general requirements; specific requirements including limits of pH, microbial contamination and toxic heavy metals like Lead (Pb), Arsenic (As), Mercury (Hg) & Cadmium (Cd); packaging; labeling; samplings and even testing procedures etc,” it said.

“They have been made in line with many international and countries specific standardization practices and most specifically referenced to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Sri Lanka Standards Institutions (SLSI), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) etc.” Sah said that it had become imperative to set such standards as there was no standard for the regulation of cosmetic products until now despite the fact that a huge trade of such products is taking place in the market. 

“Enactment of these standards is only the initial step,” Sah told Republica. “The standard should be adopted by formulating a Cosmetics Act and regulations.”

Various international researches state that cosmetic products like eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks, lotions, mascaras, foundations, body lotions and powders, compact powders, shaving creams, face paints, nail polish, kohl among others found in the domestic market were found with toxic elements like lead, mercury, cobalt, arsenic, cadmium, etc in high ratio.

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