Other ConcernsUse restrictions (moderate), Endocrine disruption (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Ecotoxicology (low), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high), and Occupational hazards (high)
SYNONYMS1,3-BENZENEDIOL, 1,3BENZENEDIOL, 3-HYDROXYPHENOL, CI DEVELOPER 4, M-DIHYDROXYBENZENE, M-HYDROQUINONE, M-PHENYLENEDIOL, OXIDATION BASE 31, RESORCIN, and RESORCINOL
Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation
This common ingredient in hair color and bleaching product is a skin irritant that is toxic to the immune system and a frequent cause of hair dye allergy. In animal studies, resorcinol can disrupt thyroid hormone synthesis and can produce goitrogenic effects. The federal government regulates exposures to resorcinol in the workplace, but there are no regulations limiting amounts of resorcinol in personal care products.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
MODERATEAllergies & Immunotoxicity
LOWDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
|Classified as irritant||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidence||EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature|
|Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Human endocrine disruptor - strong evidence||European Commission on Endocrine Disruption|
|Limited evidence of endocrine disruption||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|endocrine - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox study||Our Stolen Future Endocrine Disruptors|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - any||CosIng|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in cosmetics (concentration limit)||Japan's Standards for Cosmetics|
|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|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Classified as toxic or harmful||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|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|
|Wildlife and environmental toxicity||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|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|
|2384 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 - any||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
Multiple, additive exposure sources
|Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food||FDA Everything Added to Food|
- 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.
- EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
- EU (European Union)- Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters 2007. Commision on endocrin disruption requested by the European Parliament in 1998.
- ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
- Colborn T, D Dumanoski, JP Myers. 2006. Widespread Pollutants with Endocrine-disrupting Effects. Updated from original listing in "Our Stolen Future" (1996).
- 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/ .
- Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
- 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.
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
- 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).
- CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
- 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.