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Data: Fair

Resorcinol

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

SEARCH PRODUCTS

Other Concerns

Use restrictions (moderate), Endocrine disruption (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Ecotoxicology (low), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high), and Occupational hazards (high)

SYNONYMS

1,3-BENZENEDIOL, 1,3BENZENEDIOL, 3-HYDROXYPHENOL, CI DEVELOPER 4, M-DIHYDROXYBENZENE, M-HYDROQUINONE, M-PHENYLENEDIOL, OXIDATION BASE 31, RESORCIN, and RESORCINOL

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.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • LOW
    Cancer
  • MODERATE
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reingredientive Toxicity
  • MODERATE
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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hair color and bleaching127 products
conditioner1 products
hair treatment/serum1 products

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as irritantCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Occupational hazards

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidenceEWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergiesNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Endocrine disruption

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Human endocrine disruptor - strong evidenceEuropean Commission on Endocrine Disruption
Limited evidence of endocrine disruptionScorecard.org Toxicity Information
endocrine - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox studyOur Stolen Future Endocrine Disruptors

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - anyCosIng
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 cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - anyCTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as toxic or harmfulCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicityNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Cancer - limited evidenceCTFA 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 gapsInt'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Wildlife and environmental toxicityCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

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 productCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
2384 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA 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.

Understanding scores

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

Hazard score

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.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

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