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HYDROQUINONE


image source: PubChem
Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other HIGH concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Data gaps, Ecotoxicology

About HYDROQUINONE: Hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound. In the United States, Hydroquinone may be used as an active ingredient in OTC drug products. When used as an active drug ingredient, the established name ... read more

Possible impurity in: TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (15,579 products), TOCOPHEROL (13,980 products), TOCOPHERYL LINOLEATE (120 products), TOCOPHERYL NICOTINATE (36 products), POTASSIUM ASCORBYL TOCOPHERYL PHOSPHATE (30 products), TOCOPHERSOLAN (11 products), see all ingredients | products

Function(s): Antioxidant; Fragrance Ingredient; Hair Colorant; Reducing Agent; Skin Bleaching Agent; HAIR DYEING

Synoym(s): 1,4-BENZENEDIOL; 1,4-DIHYDROXYBENZENE; 1,4BENZENEDIOL; 4-HYDROXYPHENOL; P-DIOXYBENZENE; P-HYDROXYPHENOL; 1,4-BENZENEDIOL; 1,4-DIHYDROXY-BENZEEN (DUTCH) ; 1,4-DIHYDROXY-BENZOL (GERMAN) ; 1,4-DIHYDROXYBENZEN (CZECH) ; 1,4-DIHYDROXYBENZENE

Use restrictions

Concern Reference
Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmeticsCosIng
Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Safe for brief discontinuous use followed by thorough rinsing (only for products that are intended to be left on the skin)Cosmetic 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
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - CosIng
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - CTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Concern Reference
Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidenceCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidence
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergiesA Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergiesNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Concern Reference
Known human respiratory toxicantEPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
Classified as a high human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at low dosesEPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide Ingredients
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicityNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicityUS EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicityUS EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient)EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs

Cancer

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of carcinogenicityEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of carcinogenicityAmer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - Carcinogens
Cancer - limited evidenceCTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook
Cancer - limited evidenceCarcinogenic Potency Database
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogenInt'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicityFrazier , L

Ecotoxicology

Concern Reference
Wildlife and environmental toxicityEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Concern Reference
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment 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
6,109 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical see search results ->NLM PubMed

Data Sources

A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases. Browse Haz-Map by Adverse Effects http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmapadv.html, Swedish National Chemicals Inspectorate. Labelling of chemical products, Swedish regulations and general advice with regard to the classification and labelling of chemical products hazardous to health, flammables and explosives. List of Allergenic Substances. National Chemicals Inspectorate, Solna, Sweden. 1987, 1990-1992.
ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) 2008. ACGIH cancer classification system. www.acgih.org.
AOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
CPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
CTFA (Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association). 2006. International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, 11th Edition. Color Additive Information. Washington, DC.
Carcinogenic Potency Database. http://potency.berkeley.edu/app14.html Environmental Defense reviewed this compilation of results on carcinogenicity in rats and mice covering 1298 chemicals and added any chemical with positive results in at least two species by a relevant route of exposure to its list of suspect carcinogens.
EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1987 & 2005. Office of Pesticide Programs. Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients in Pesticide Products - Categorized List of Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients.
EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2005. Office of Air. The 112(b)1 Hazardous Air Pollutants List (as modified). Last modified: 12 Dec 2005.
European Commission. 2013. Cosing, the European Commission database with information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. Accessed on March 1, 2013 at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/ .
Frazier , L. and M. L. Hage (eds.). Reproductive Hazards of the Workplace, Wiley Europe, 1998. Table 10 (Partial List of Reproductive Toxicants) available at http://www.pharmacy.ohio-state.edu/homepage/safety/chemhygiene_table_repro.pdf.
Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). 2008. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenicity to Humans, as evaluated in IARC Monographs Volumes 1-99 (a total of 935 agents, mixtures and exposures).
IFRA (International Fragrance Assocication). 2010. IFRA Fragrance Ingredient List based on 2008 Use Survey. Accessed online 01/04/2010: http://www.ifraorg.org/Home/News/Latest-News/page.aspx/66?xf_itemId=43&xf_selectionDatapartId=25
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.
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center. Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases. Browse Haz-Map by Adverse Effects http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmapadv.html, Klaassen, C., M. Amdur and J. Doull (eds.). Casarett and Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons, 5th Ed. Pergamon Press, NY. 1996., LaDou, J. (ed.). Occupational Medicine. Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, CN. 1990., Timbrell, J.A. Introduction to Toxicology. Taylor and Francis, New York. 1995. (Table 5.1: Types of skin sensitizers).
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center. Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation.

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