In a critical first step to regulating nanomaterials, New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made it compulsory to label for nanoscale ingredients in cosmetics. Which really begs the question, why can’t Australia?

As the level of risk that nanomaterials pose is largely unknown, labelling cosmetics ensures consumers will at least have the ability to make informed choices. The decision brings New Zealand into line with pending European cosmetic labelling requirements.

Cosmetic products that contain nanomaterials will not have to be labelled in New Zealand until July 1 2015 – a delay intended to allow manufacturers and importers to sell through existing stock. However, the Sustainability Council are concerned that the delay will leave New Zealanders in the dark for three years.

The Sustainability Council has further proposed that the EPA bridge the three-year gap by creating an online public register of cosmetic products that contain nanoparticles.

Read the EPA decision