Manufacturers and importers must notify the EPA if cosmetic products contain some nano-sized ingredients. (Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide – the most widely used substances in the nanoscale – do not need to be notified.)
This duty was introduced in 2006 so that the EPA could monitor the presence of nanocosmetics. However the requirement has been poorly monitored and enforced – just eighteen products containing two types of nanoingredients have been notified. It is likely that many more products should be notified.
The Sustainability Council has been monitoring notifications and urging the EPA to make notifications routinely available to the public.
In 2012, after a substantial investigation, the Ombudsman determined that the public has a right to know whether nanocosmetic ingredients are present and that certain details should be made routinely public. Before the Ombudsman released his decision, the EPA began to publish notifications on its website.