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MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA (TEA TREE) LEAF OIL

Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
Cancer
 
 
Developmental &
reproductive toxicity
 
 
 
Use restrictions
 
 
Other LOW concerns: Endocrine disruption

About MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA (TEA TREE) LEAF OIL: This ingredient is distilled from the leaves of Tea Tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, a shrub native to New Zealand.

Function(s): Antioxidant; Fragrance Ingredient; PERFUMING

Synonym(s): MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA (TEA TREE) ESSENTIAL OIL; MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA (TEA TREE) OIL; MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA ESSENTIAL OIL; MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA LEAF OIL; OILS, TEA TREE; OILS, TEATREE; TEA EXTRACT; TEA LEAF, ABSOLUTE; TEA OIL; TEA TREE OIL; TEA RESINOID; TEA TREE LEAF OIL; TEA TREE OIL; TEA TREE OILS

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of toxicity or allergiesPirker C et al

Endocrine disruption

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of disruptionHenley et al 2007

Data gaps

Concern Reference
424 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical see search results ->NLM PubMed

Multiple, additive exposure sources

Concern Reference
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Everything Added to Food

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Concern Reference
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Ecotoxicology

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

Data Sources

EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Henley et al 2007. Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils. N Engl J Med. 2007 Feb 1;356(5):479-85.
Henley et al 2007. Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils. N Engl J Med. 2007 Feb 1;356(5):479-85.
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). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
Pirker C et al. 2003. Sensitization to tea tree oil in Germany and Austria. A multicenter study of the German Contact Dermatitis Group. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2003 Aug;1(8):629-34.
Pirker C et al. 2003. Sensitization to tea tree oil in Germany and Austria. A multicenter study of the German Contact Dermatitis Group. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2003 Aug;1(8):629-34.

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