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Fair

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GLYCOLIC ACID


image source: PubChem
Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
Cancer
 
 
Developmental &
reproductive toxicity
 
 
Allergies & immunotoxicity
 
 

About GLYCOLIC ACID: Gylcolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid; used in chemical peels and anti-aging skin products; can irritate skin.

Function(s): Exfoliant; pH Adjuster; BUFFERING

Synonym(s): ACETIC ACID, HYDROXY; ACETIC ACID, HYDROXY-; GLYCOLIC ALPHA-HYDROXY ACID; GLYCOLLIC ACID; HYDROXY- ACETIC ACID; HYDROXYACETIC ACID; HYDROXYETHANOIC ACID; 2-HYDROXYACETIC ACID; ACETIC ACID, HYDROXY-; ALPHA-HYDROXYACETIC ACID; HYDROXYACETIC ACID

Use restrictions

Concern Reference
Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Allowable pH limitsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Concern Reference
Classified as skin irritantTHE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON COSMETIC PRODUCTS AND NON-FOOD PRODUCTS INTENDED FOR CONSUMERS

Cancer

Concern Reference
Not likely to be carcinogenic in humansNational Toxicology Program (NTP)

Ecotoxicology

Concern Reference
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Concern Reference
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as a low human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

Concern Reference
Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in productCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
3,765 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical see search results ->NLM PubMed

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Concern Reference
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Occupational hazards

Concern Reference
Single case study detailing occupational hazardsNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Data Sources

CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
National Toxicology Program (NTP). 2007. Technical Report on the Photocarcinogenesis of Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid (CAS NOS. 79-14-1 and 69-72-7) in SKH-1 Mice. NTP TR 524. September 2007. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/files/524_web1.pdf
THE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON COSMETIC PRODUCTS AND NON-FOOD PRODUCTS INTENDED FOR CONSUMERS. POSITION PAPER CONCERNING THE SAFETY OF ALPHA-HYDROXY ACIDS Adopted by the SCCNFP during the 13th plenary meeting of 28 June 2000

About the ratings

EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings below indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer