chemical information


Chemical Class:


Chemical SubClass

Polycyclic Musks

Found in these people:

not found

Found in these locations:

not found

Exposure routes:

Synthetic musk fragrance found in cleaning agents, detergents, soap.


Cashmeran is a synthetic polycyclic musk that is used in a variety of consumer products, including soaps, perfumes, and cosmetics (Daughton 1999). Exposure can take place through dermal absorption, inhalation, and ingestion. Inhalation of this chemical occurs through use of aerosolized consumer products, such as perfumes and air fresheners, that contain Cashmeran; dermal exposure occurs through use of personal care products, such as lotion and cosmetics, that are applied to the skin (Daughton 1999).

Polycyclic musk production and use has increased in recent years, due to a decrease in production of synthetic nitromusks secondary to concerns about toxicological effects (Daughton 1999). Cashmeran is one of the least commonly used of the polycyclic musks.

Polycyclic musks are lipophilic, or "fat-loving," and have been found in human breast milk, adipose tissue, and blood (Rimkus 1996; TNO 2004; Duedahl-Olesen 2005); in addition, they have been found in lake waters and sediments in the United States (Fromme 2001; Peck 2004, 2006), where they can enter into the food chain and build up in fish (Fromme 2001; Duedahl-Olesen 2005). Cashmeran itself is rarely detected in people or in the environment (Peck 2004; TNO 2004); many studies do not even assess this particular musk.

Very little is known about long term toxic effects of human exposure to Cashmeran. A recent study in aquatic organisms showed that exposure to polycyclic musks similar to Cashmeran can cause long term inhibition of specific transporters in cell walls that are responsible for keeping toxic molecules from entering the cell (Luckenbach 2005). This inhibition could result in accumulation of toxic substances within cells. These same cell wall transporters are found in human tissue as well; further studies should be conducted to investigate any implications of these findings for human health (Luckenbach 2005).


Synthetic fragrance in cosmetics. Bioaccumulates in people. Potential hormone disruptor.

Cashmeran has been found in 0 of the 52 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies.

Other health concerns for Cashmeran (References)

health concern or target organ weight of evidence
Chronic effects, generalunknown

Results for Cashmeran

Cashmeran was measured in different units for some of the studies. Overall it was found in 0 of 52 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies. The bars below are grouped by units:

in blood serum (wet weight)

Showing results from EWG/Commonweal Study #7, consumer product chemicals in adults and teens, EWG Study #10, cosmetic chemicals in teens, Adult Minority Leader Report, Other Body Burden Studies

EWG/Commonweal results

  • found in 0 of 42 people in the group

found in 0 of 42 people

in whole blood (wet weight)

Showing results from Pollution in Minority Newborns

EWG/Commonweal results

  • found in 0 of 10 people in the group

found in 0 of 10 people

Detailed toxicity classifications (References)

classification governing entity/references
Chronic effects, general - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedLuckenbach, T. and D. Epel (2005). "Nitromusk and polycyclic musk compounds as long-term inhibitors of cellular xenobiotic defense systems mediated by multidrug transporters." Environ Health Perspect 113(1): 17-24.