India holds public consultation on heavy metal restrictions for cleansing products.

In order to control the presence of heavy metals in specific cosmetics, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has opened the comments area for three Draft Indian Standards for face wash, shower gel, and face/body scrub. The comment sections will be accessible until October 28, 2023.

Contents of the draft Standard

The draft Standard contains the methods for the determination of pH, heavy metals with their restricted amount in cosmetics, and sampling methods for cosmetics. The draft also elaborates on the packing and marking requirement for cosmetic products as per the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.

The proposed limits for lead, arsenic, and mercury in surfactant-based and soap-based face wash, shower gel, and face/body scrub are as follows:

Sr. No.Heavy MetalConcentrations
 Lead20 ppm
 Arsenic2 ppm
 Mercury1 ppm

A limitation on the total microbiological count for products as defined by Indian Standard (IS) 14648 is also included in the proposal. According to the current Indian Standard (IS) 4011, safety assessments would be necessary for any newly developed or unusual ingredients used in the production of the products.

According to the requirements, substances used to make body gel and face wash should adhere to the list of chemicals that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as per Indian Standard (IS) 4707 and be subject to limitations under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.

BIS certification marking

The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, and the Rules and Regulations established thereunder allow conformity assessment methods, the application of the Standard Mark on the product(s), and certification of the product(s) complying with the requirements of this standard.

Packing and marking

According to the draft Standard, the products should be packed in suitable well-closed containers and marked with the following information:

  • Name of the material
  • Manufacturer’s name and its recognized trade-mark, if any
  • Net content
  • Batch number
  • Use before or expiry date as per statutory requirements
  • List of ingredients, as per statutory requirements
  • Any other information required by statutory authorities


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