IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem
Other ConcernsUse restrictions (high), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (high), and Ecotoxicology (low)
Unacceptable: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient
Hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound. In the United States, Hydroquinone may be used as an active ingredient in OTC drug products. When used as an active drug ingredient, the established name is Hydroquinone.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
MODERATEAllergies & Immunotoxicity
LOWDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
|facial moisturizer/treatment||4 products|
|skin fading/lightener||3 products|
|nail glue||1 products|
|Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmetics||CosIng|
|Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Safe for brief discontinuous use followed by thorough rinsing||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics||Canada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients|
|Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - any||CTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook|
|Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualifications||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Known human respiratory toxicant||EPA Hazardous Air Pollutants|
|Classified as a high human health priority||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at low doses||EPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide Ingredients|
|Limited evidence of sense organ toxicity||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicity||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|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|
|Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidence||EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature|
|Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidence||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Limited evidence of carcinogenicity||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Limited evidence of carcinogenicity||Amer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - Carcinogens|
|Cancer - limited evidence||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|Cancer - limited evidence||CTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook|
|Limited or incomplete evidence of cancer according to safety/hazard data – government assessment cannot classify as human carcinogen due to data gaps||Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens|
|Limited evidence of reproductive toxicity||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|Wildlife and environmental toxicity||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Suspected to be an environmental toxin||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|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 product||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|6109 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical||NLM PubMed|
|Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - Safe for brief discontinuous use followed by thorough rinsing||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Not suspected to be persistent||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Not suspected to be bioaccumulative||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
- 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/ .
- CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
- Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
- CTFA (Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association). 2006. International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, 11th Edition. Color Additive Information. Washington, DC.
- 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.
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
- EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1987 & 2005. Office of Pesticide Programs. Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients in Pesticide Products - Categorized List of Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients.
- ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
- EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
- EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature
- 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.
- ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) 2008. ACGIH cancer classification system. www.acgih.org.
- 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). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.
Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES
The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.
The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.