ewg.org | About SkinDeep®/Methodology | Terms & Conditions | Build Your Own Report | FAQ
 
Score:
Data available:
 
Fair

Get The Guide!

Want a free Cosmetics Guide? Donate $5 to EWG today!

Sign Up!

ZINC OXIDE


image source: PubChem
Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
Cancer
 
 
Developmental &
reproductive toxicity
 
 
 
Use restrictions
 
 
Other HIGH concerns: Occupational hazards, Persistence and bioaccumulation; Other MODERATE concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology

About ZINC OXIDE: Zinc Oxide is an inorganic oxide used as a colorant and sunscreen agent.

Function(s): Bulking Agent; Colorant; Skin Protectant; Sunscreen Agent

Synoym(s): CI 77947; FLOWERS OF ZINC; LOW TEMPERATURE BURNED ZINC OXIDE; PHILOSOPHER'S WOOL; PIGMENT WHITE 4; ZINC FLOWERS; ZINC OXIDE (NON-NANO) ; ZINC WHITE

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Concern Reference
One or more animal studies show or allergenic effects at very low dosesSayes CM, Reed KL, Warheit DB

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Concern Reference
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlifeCanada PBTs - Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)
Found to be persistent and bioaccumulative in wildlifeBorgå K, Campbell L, Gabrielsen GW, Norstrom RJ, Muir DC, Fisk AT

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Concern Reference
Possible human respiratory toxicantAssociation of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity (only for products that may be aerosolized (airborne))California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
Limited evidence of toxicity (only for products that may be aerosolized (airborne))California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
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

Occupational hazards

Concern Reference
Strong evidence of occupational hazards (only for products that may be aerosolized (airborne))Gordon T, Fine JM
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to moderate doses (only for products that may be aerosolized (airborne))National Library of Medicine HazMap

Ecotoxicology

Concern Reference
Wildlife and environmental toxicityEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Wildlife and environmental toxicityAdams, L

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

Enhanced skin absorption

Concern Reference
Does not cause enhanced penetrationSCCNFP

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Concern Reference
Not likely to be a reproductive toxicant in humansEuropean_Chemicals_Bureau

Data gaps

Concern Reference
6,924 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical see search results ->NLM PubMed

Decreased skin absorption

Concern Reference
Limited potential to absorb into the skin.Gulson B, McCall MJ, Gomez L, Korsch M, Casey P, Kinsley L

Data Sources

AOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
Adams, L. K., D. Y. Lyon, et al. (2006). "Comparative eco-toxicity of nanoscale TiO2, SiO2, and ZnO water suspensions." Water Research Article in Press.
Borgå K, Campbell L, Gabrielsen GW, Norstrom RJ, Muir DC, Fisk AT. 2006. Regional and species specific bioaccumulation of major and trace elements in Arctic seabirds. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2006 Nov;25(11):2927-36.
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.
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, Part III: Technical Support Document
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, Part III: Technical Support Document
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). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
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/ .
European_Chemicals_Bureau. 2004. ZINC OXIDE Part II – Human Health, CAS No: 1314-13-2, EINECS No: 215-222-5; Summary Risk Assessment Report Addendum to the Part II (Human Health) I-21020 Ispra (VA) Italy.
FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Color Additive Status List. September 2006.
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.
Gordon T, Fine JM. 1993. Metal fume fever. Occup Med. Jul-Sep;8(3):504-17. Review.
Gulson B, McCall MJ, Gomez L, Korsch M, Casey P, Kinsley L. 2010. Dermal absorption of ZnO particles from sunscreens applied to humans at the beach. realizebeauty.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/iconn2010-abstract-gulson1.pdf
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.
SCCNFP. 2003. Opinion concerning Zinc Oxide: European Commission - The Scientfic Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers. Available: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/sccp/sccp_opinions_en.htm
Sayes CM, Reed KL, Warheit DB. 2007. Assessing toxicity of fine and nanoparticles: comparing in vitro measurements to in vivo pulmonary toxicity profiles. Toxicol Sci 97(1): 163-80.

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