Zinc Oxide (Sunscreen Grade ≪ 100nm)
- This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products that are inhalable (e.g., sprays, powders) because of respiratory concerns.
- Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.
IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem
Other ConcernsEnhanced skin absorption, Use restrictions (moderate), Persistence and bioaccumulation (low), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Ecotoxicology (low), Occupational hazards (moderate), and Biochemical or cellular level changes (high)
SYNONYMSNANO ZINC OXIDE, NANO ZINC OXIDE (20-60NM), NANOZN, ZINC OXIDE (NANO 20-60NM), and ZINC OXIDE (SUNSCREEN GRADE < 100NM)
Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation
Nano zinc oxide offers greater sun protection than larger zinc particles. Comparatively little is known regarding potential health effects of nanoparticles. They do not penetrate healthy skin to a large degree, and thus appear to pose a low health risk in lotions. Inhalation of powders and sprays is a concern.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
LOWAllergies & Immunotoxicity
LOWDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
|recreational sunscreen||4 products|
|daily use with SPF||3 products|
|diaper cream||2 products|
|BB cream||2 products|
|facial powder||1 products|
|lip balm||1 products|
|makeup primer||1 products|
|body powder||1 products|
|baby sunscreen||1 products|
|lip liner||1 products|
|CC cream||1 products|
Enhanced skin absorption
|Nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skin||Open scientific literature|
|Nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skin||Nanomaterial Database|
Biochemical or cellular level changes
|Produces excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease.||Open scientific literature|
|Allowed workplace exposures restricted to moderate doses||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Moderate evidence of occupational hazards||Open scientific literature|
Decreased skin absorption
|Limited potential to absorb into the skin.||Open scientific literature|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - any||Open scientific literature|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Possible human respiratory toxicant||Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics|
|Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|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|
|Associated with respiratory toxicity||Open scientific literature|
|One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results||Open scientific literature|
|One or more in vitro tests on microorganisms show positive mutation results||Open scientific literature|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Found to be persistent and bioaccumulative in wildlife||Open scientific literature|
|Wildlife and environmental toxicity||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Wildlife and environmental toxicity||Open scientific literature|
|Insufficient data to determine safety||Open scientific literature|
|6094 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 - Color additive approved by FDA for use in cosmetics||FDA Color Additive Status|
|Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - Color Additives - Exempt from Batch Certification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration||CTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook|
|Not likely to be a reproductive toxicant in humans||Open scientific literature|
Multiple, additive exposure sources
|Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food||FDA Food Additive Status|
|Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food||FDA Everything Added to Food|
- Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
- NanoWerk. 2007. Nanomaterial Database. Available online: http://www.nanowerk.com/phpscripts/n_dbsearch.php
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
- AOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
- ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
- EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
- 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.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
- FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Color Additive Status List. September 2006.
- CTFA (Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association). 2006. International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, 11th Edition. Color Additive Information. Washington, DC.
- 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.
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.