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OXYBENZONE

Score:

Data: Good

  • Other Concerns
  • Functions
  • About the Chemical
  • Synonyms
  • Enhanced skin absorption, Use restrictions (moderate), Endocrine disruption (moderate), Persistence and bioaccumulation (low), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low), and Biochemical or cellular level changes (high)

Cancer

Cancer concern is LOW

Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity

Developmental & reproductive toxicity concern is LOW

Allergies & Immunotoxicity

Allergies & immunotoxicity concern is MODERATE

Products with this Ingredient

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beach & sport sunscreen159 products
moisturizer with SPF110 products
lip balm with SPF28 products
BB cream25 products
fragrance for men9 products
moisturizer6 products
baby sunscreen5 products
body wash/cleanser4 products
fragrance for women4 products
nail polish4 products
exfoliant/scrub2 products
facial moisturizer/treatment2 products
foundation2 products
anti-aging1 products
facial cleanser1 products
after shave1 products
shaving cream1 products
detangler1 products
lip balm1 products
bath oil/salts/soak1 products
shampoo1 products
body spray1 products
hair treatment/serum1 products

Enhanced skin absorption

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Concern Reference
Oxybenzone increased absorption of 2,4D (a pesticide) by 36.4% and decreased lag time by 15.9%.Pont AR, Charron AR, Brand RM 2004. Active ingredients in sunscreens act as topical penetration enhancers for the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 195(3): 348-354.
Is absorbed into skin in vitro at 0 to 0.48% through the skin after 10 h){Gupta, 1999; Potard, 2000}

Biochemical or cellular level changes

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Concern Reference
When benzophenone-3 penetrates into the skin, the level of ROS increases above that produced naturally under UV illumination.Hanson KM, Gratton E, Bardeen CJ 2006. Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin. Free Radic Biol Med 41(8): 1205-1212.
Does not produce damaging reactive oxygen species upon exposure to sunlight{Allen, 1996}

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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Concern Reference
Studies clearly indicate oxybenzone is a photoallergen.SCCP (2006) "Opinion on Benzophenone-3." European Commission - The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers. SCCP/1069/06 Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_sccp/sccp_opinions_en.htm.
The most common photoallergen was benzophenone-3 (27 reactions; 21%)Bryden AM, Moseley H, Ibbotson SH, Chowdhury MM, Beck MH, Bourke J, et al 2006. Photopatch testing of 1155 patients: results of the U.K. multicentre photopatch study group. Br J Dermatol 155(4): 737-747.
Allergenic reaction when combined with sun exposure{Journe, 1999}
Benzophenones are mildly irritating and sensitizing at concentrations greater than those used in cosmeticsCIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
Nonphotoallergenic in 6 of 6 studies{CTFA, 1979; FDA,1978; Leberco Labs, 1979; FDRL, 1978}

Use restrictions

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Concern Reference
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in some types of cosmetics (concentration limit)Japan's Standards for Cosmetics

Endocrine disruption

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Concern Reference
Human endocrine disruptor - moderate evidenceEuropean Commission on Endocrine Disruption
Limited evidence of wildlife and the environment disruptionEuropean Commission on Endocrine Disruption
Reduced DHT-induced AR activation in MDA-kb2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, acted as estrogen agonists on MCF cells{Ma, 2003}
Benzophenone-3 is weakly estrogenic in in vitro tests with rainbow trout estrogen receptorKunz PY, Galicia HF, Fent K 2006. Comparison of in vitro and in vivo estrogenic activity of UV filters in fish. Toxicol Sci 90(2): 349-361.

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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Concern Reference
A biomonitoring indicated 96% of 6 to 8 year old girls had detectable amounts of oxybenzone in their urine.Wolff MS, Teitelbaum SL, Windham G, Pinney SM, Britton JA, Chelimo C, et al 2007. Pilot study of urinary biomarkers of phytoestrogens, phthalates, and phenols in girls. Environ Health Perspect 115(1): 116-121.
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

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Concern Reference
Benzophenone-3 had minimal effects on fertility in the F1 generation but F2 pup weights were significantly reduced. Probably due to systemic toxicity.{NTP, 1990}
Oxybenzone increased uterine weight in immature rats.Schlumpf M, Schmid P, Durrer S, Conscience M, Maerkel K, Henseler M, et al 2004. Endocrine activity and developmental toxicity of cosmetic UV filters--an update. Toxicology 205(1-2): 113-122.

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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Concern Reference
Depressed growth, leucocytosis, anemia, reduced organ weight and nephrosis after 90 days diet with up to 1.0% noted in 1 of 2 studies of subchronic and chronic oral toxicity, no toxic effects noted after diet with up to 1% after 27 daysHazelton Labs, 1953; Lewerenz, 1972
No toxicity oral up to 16g/k{Homrowski, 1968; Lewerenz, 1972; IBL, 1964; Hazelton Labs, 1953}
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

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Concern Reference
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 productJACT 2(5):35-77, 1983 confirmed 09/02 IJT 24(S1):10-18, 2005
10524 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Ecotoxicology

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Concern Reference
Oxybenzone can trigger outbreaks of viral infection in coral reefs.Danovaro R, Bongiorni L, Corinaldesi C, Giovannelli D, Damiani E, Astolfi P, Greci L, Pusceddu A "Sunscreens cause coral bleaching by promoting viral infections." Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Apr;116(4):441-7.
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Cancer

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Concern Reference
Nonmutagenic with and without S-9 activation{CTFA, 1980; DHEW, 1978; Hill Top Research Labs, 1979; Litton Bioneics, 1979}

Informational

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Concern Reference
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyJACT 2(5):35-77, 1983 confirmed 09/02 IJT 24(S1):10-18, 2005

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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Concern Reference
No irritation and/or sensitization in 6 of 7 studies, mild sensitization in 1 study{IBL, 1967; Kligman, 1976; FDA, 1978; CFTA, 1980; FDRL, 1978}

Data Sources

  • Pont AR, Charron AR, Brand RM 2004. Active ingredients in sunscreens act as topical penetration enhancers for the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 195(3): 348-354.
  • {Gupta, 1999; Potard, 2000}
  • Hanson KM, Gratton E, Bardeen CJ 2006. Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin. Free Radic Biol Med 41(8): 1205-1212.
  • {Allen, 1996}
  • SCCP (2006) "Opinion on Benzophenone-3." European Commission - The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers. SCCP/1069/06 Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_sccp/sccp_opinions_en.htm.
  • Bryden AM, Moseley H, Ibbotson SH, Chowdhury MM, Beck MH, Bourke J, et al 2006. Photopatch testing of 1155 patients: results of the U.K. multicentre photopatch study group. Br J Dermatol 155(4): 737-747.
  • {Journe, 1999}
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • {CTFA, 1979; FDA,1978; Leberco Labs, 1979; FDRL, 1978}
  • Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
  • EU (European Union)- Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters 2007. Commision on endocrin disruption requested by the European Parliament in 1998.
  • {Ma, 2003}
  • Kunz PY, Galicia HF, Fent K 2006. Comparison of in vitro and in vivo estrogenic activity of UV filters in fish. Toxicol Sci 90(2): 349-361.
  • Wolff MS, Teitelbaum SL, Windham G, Pinney SM, Britton JA, Chelimo C, et al 2007. Pilot study of urinary biomarkers of phytoestrogens, phthalates, and phenols in girls. Environ Health Perspect 115(1): 116-121.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • {NTP, 1990}
  • Schlumpf M, Schmid P, Durrer S, Conscience M, Maerkel K, Henseler M, et al 2004. Endocrine activity and developmental toxicity of cosmetic UV filters--an update. Toxicology 205(1-2): 113-122.
  • Hazelton Labs, 1953; Lewerenz, 1972
  • {Homrowski, 1968; Lewerenz, 1972; IBL, 1964; Hazelton Labs, 1953}
  • JACT 2(5):35-77, 1983 confirmed 09/02 IJT 24(S1):10-18, 2005
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • Danovaro R, Bongiorni L, Corinaldesi C, Giovannelli D, Damiani E, Astolfi P, Greci L, Pusceddu A "Sunscreens cause coral bleaching by promoting viral infections." Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Apr;116(4):441-7.
  • {CTFA, 1980; DHEW, 1978; Hill Top Research Labs, 1979; Litton Bioneics, 1979}
  • {IBL, 1967; Kligman, 1976; FDA, 1978; CFTA, 1980; FDRL, 1978}

About this Ingredient's Score Range

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