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THIMEROSAL


image source: PubChem
Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
 
 
 
 

About THIMEROSAL: Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used in some vaccines and cosmetics. According to FDA, 'Mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tend to accumulate ... read more

Function(s): Preservative

Synoym(s): ETHYL (2-MERCAPTOBENZOATO-S) MERCURY, SODIUM SALT; SODIUM ETHYLMERCURITHIOSALICYLATE; SODIUM SALT ETHYL (2-MERCAPTOBENZOATO-S) MERCURY; THIOMERSAL; ( (O-CARBOXYPHENYL) THIO) ETHYLMERCURY SODIUM SALT; ELICIDE; ETHYL (SODIUM O-MERCAPTOBENZOATO) MERCURY; ETHYL (2-MERCAPTOBENZOATO-S) MERCURY SODIUM SALT; ETHYLMERCURITHIOSALICYLIC ACID SODIUM SALT; ETHYLMERKURITHIOSALICILAN SODNY (CZECH) ; MERCUROTHIOLATE

Neurotoxicity

Concern Reference
Known human nervous system toxicantATSDR
Limited evidence of toxicityNational Academy - Institute of Medicine, 2004
nervous system - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox studyNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Use restrictions

Concern Reference
Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Restricted for use in cosmetics by the FDA (US)U.S. - Ingredients Prohibited and Restricted in Cosmetics by FDA Regulations
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Concern Reference
Possible human developmental toxicantCalifornia EPA Proposition 65
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicityEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicityNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Limited evidence of toxicityNational Academy - Institute of Medicine, 2004
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicityUS EPA

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Concern Reference
Known human respiratory toxicantEPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as toxic or harmful (only for products for use on skin; products for use around the mouth; products for use on the lips; products that may be aerosolized (airborne))European Union - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of kidney toxicityNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Limited evidence of kidney toxicityA Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicityA Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicityA Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicityKlaassen, C
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicityNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicityMalachowsky, M
reproductive - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox studyNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Concern Reference
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

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Concern Reference
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife and humansNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife and humansEPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlifeNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlifeCanada PBTs - Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlifeGreat Lakes BTS (Binational Toxics Strategy) PBTs
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlifeEPA PBTs - Waste Minimization Program (RCRA)
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Endocrine disruption

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of endocrine disruptionIllinois EPA
endocrine - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox studyIllinois EPA Chemicals Associated with Endocrine System
endocrine - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox studyOur Stolen Future Endocrine Disruptors

Occupational hazards

Concern Reference
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Strong evidence of occupational hazardsEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling

Cancer

Concern Reference
Mutagen - limited evidenceEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogenEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogenInt'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens

Ecotoxicology

Concern Reference
Wildlife and environmental toxicityEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Wildlife and environmental toxicityEPA Clean Water Act - Priority Pollutants
Wildlife and environmental toxicityIllinois EPA Chemicals Associated with Endocrine System
Wildlife and environmental toxicityEuropean Union - Water Framework Directive
Suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Miscellaneous

Concern Reference
Occupational hazards related to handlingEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling

Data gaps

Concern Reference
Insufficient data to determine safetyEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
307,891 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, Klaassen, C., M. Amdur and J. Doull (eds.). Casarett and Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons, 5th Ed. Pergamon Press, NY. 1996., Landrigan, P.J., Goyer, R.A. Clarkson, T.W., Sandler, D.P., Smith, J.H., Thun, M.J., and R. Wedeen. The Work-Relatedness of Renal Disease. Archives of Environmental Health. 39(3): 225-230. 1984. (Table 2: Estimated Numbers of Workers in the United States with Potential Occupational Exposures to Known or Suspect Nephrotoxins)., Merck & Co. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. TABLE 226-1. Common Nephrotoxic Agents http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/tables/226tb1.htm, Stacey, N.H. Occupational Toxicology. Taylor & Francis. 1995.
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., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation.
A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases. Browse Haz-Map by Adverse Effects http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmapadv.html, Nemery, B. Metal Toxicity and the Respiratory Tract. European Respiratory Journal. 3(2): 202-219. 1990.(Table 1: Summary of pulmonary toxicity of metals).
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.
ATSDR. Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine. Public Health Statement on Mercury. March 1999.
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.
California EPA (California Environmental Protection Agency). 9/2008. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
Colborn T, D Dumanoski, JP Myers. 2006. Widespread Pollutants with Endocrine-disrupting Effects. Updated from original listing in "Our Stolen Future" (1996).
EC (Environment Canada). 1994. Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET). ARET substance list of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals.
EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1998. Resource Conservatin and Recovery Act (RCRA) Waste Minimization Program - priority chemicals for elimination or reduction.
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.
EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986-2005 guidelines.
EU (European Union). 2000. Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC ) - integrated river basin management for Europe. List of priority substances.
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/ .
FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), 2006. Ingredients Prohibited and Restricted by FDA Regulations. FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Cosmetics and Colors. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-210.html.
Great Lakes BTS (Binational Toxics Strategy). 1997. Canada-United States Strategy for the Virtual Elimination of Persistent Toxic Substances in the Great Lakes. Appendix I - Level 1 and Level 2 substances.
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).
Illinois EPA (Illinois Environmental Protection Agency). 2000. Preliminary list of chemicals associated with endocrine system effects in animals and humans (*) or in vitro (+). In EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) 2000. Handbook for Non-Cancer Health Effects Valuation, Appendix C.
Illinois EPA. Endocrine Disruptors Strategy. 1997. (Table 1: Preliminary List of Chemicals Associated with Endocrine System Effects in Animals and Humans or In Vitro). http://www.nihs.go.jp/hse/environ/illiepatable.htm, Keith, L.H. (ed.). Environmental Endocrine Disruptors. John Wiley & Sons, NY. 1997. http://www.wileyeurope.com/cda/product/0,,0471191450%7Cdesc%7C3037,00.html, World Wildlife Fund. Our Stolen Future. Widespread Pollutants with Endocrine-disrupting Effects. http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/Basics/chemlist.htm. The WWF list is derived from references detailed at http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/Sources/chemsources.htm and was originally published in: Colborn, T., F.S. vom Saal, and A.M. Soto. Developmental Effects of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals In Wildlife and Humans. Environmental Health Perspectives 101(5): 378-384. 1993.
Klaassen, C., M. Amdur and J. Doull (eds.). Casarett and Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons, 5th Ed. Pergamon Press, NY. 1996.
Malachowsky, M.J. Health Effects of Toxic Substances. Government Institutes. Rockville, MD 1995.
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 Academy - Institute of Medicine, 2004. "Immunization Safety Review", Accessed at http://www.iom.edu/?id=4705 on May 14, 2007.
National Academy - Institute of Medicine, 2004. "Immunization Safety Review", Accessed at http://www.iom.edu/?id=4705 on May 14, 2007.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation., Stacey, N.H. Occupational Toxicology. Taylor & Francis. 1995.
US EPA. Roadmaps to Sources of Information on Chemicals Listed in the Emergency Planning Community and Community Right-to-Know Act (Also Known as SARA Title 3), Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory (for Microcomputers). (Report Number EPADFDK92040). 1991. Data file distributed in 2 diskettes by Office of Pollution, Prevention, and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. NOTE: Datasource no longer being maintained by EPA; not currently available online., 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., A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases. Browse Haz-Map by Adverse Effects http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmapadv.html, California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Acute Reference Exposure Levels (RELs), Averaging Times, and Toxicologic Endpoints. Includes all Acute Reference Exposure Levels (ARELs) developed by OEHHA through May 2000http://www.oehha.org/air/acute_rels/allAcRELs.html

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