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POLYETHYLENE


image source: PubChem
Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
Cancer
 
 
Developmental &
reproductive toxicity
 
 
 
Use restrictions
 
 
Other HIGH concerns: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs); Other LOW concerns: Data gaps

About POLYETHYLENE: Polyethylene is a polymer of ethylene monomers; may contain potentially toxic manufacturing contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane.

Function(s): Abrasive; Adhesive; Binder; Bulking Agent; Emulsion Stabilizer; Film Former; Oral CareAgent; Viscosity Increasing Agent - Nonaqueous; FILM FORMING; VISCOSITY CONTROLLING

Synonym(s): ETHENE, HOMOPOLYMER; ETHYLENE POLYMER; POLYETHYLENE; HIGH MELTING POINT POLYETHYLENE POWDER; HOMOPOLYMER ETHENE; POLYETHYLENE POWDER; POLYETHYLENE WAX; 2100 GP; 23F203; 6020P; A 60-20R; A 60-70R

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergiesNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Concern Reference
Human irritant - strong evidence (only for products for use around the eyes, on the skin, or may be aerosolized (airborne))Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Ecotoxicology

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

Cancer

Concern Reference
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogenInt'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens

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
Considered safe based on assumption of low absorptionCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Missing safety data noted by cosmetic industry reviewCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

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

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Concern Reference
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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

Data Sources

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.
EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
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.
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).
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.

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