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Data: Good

Silica, Amorphous

  • 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

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Other Concerns

Use restrictions (low), Persistence and bioaccumulation (high), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low), and Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (low)

SYNONYMS

● SILICON DIOXIDE
● AMORPHOUS SILICA
● AMORPHOUS SILICA GEL; AMORPHOUS SILICA GEL; DIATOMACEOUS EARTH, CALCINED; DIATOMACEOUS EARTH, CALCINED; SILICA; SILICON DIOXIDE; SILICON DIOXIDE; SILICON DIOXIDE (AMORPHOUS); SILICON OXIDE
● AMORPHOUS SILICON OXIDE HYDRATE
● FUMED SILICON DIOXIDE
● ROSE ABSOLUTE
● SILICA
● SILICA, AMORPHOUS
● SILICIC ANHYDRIDE
● SILICON DIOXIDE
● SILICON DIOXIDE, FUMED
● SPHERON P-1000
● SPHERON PL-700

Restricted

Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation


Silica is the most common constituent of sand. Fine silica, typically used in industrial applications and inhaled by workers, is associated with a wide range of disorders, particularly affecting the lungs and respiratory system. In cosmetics for skin use, regular sand presents little, if any risk to people. In contrast, for products that might be inhaled (such as a facial powder), silica particles are finely ground down and may be associated with respiratory toxicity.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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foundation1701 products
lipstick1354 products
eye shadow1204 products
concealer852 products
bronzer/highlighter677 products
blush608 products
nail polish536 products
lip gloss499 products
eye liner480 products
brow liner345 products
daily use with SPF291 products
recreational sunscreen265 products
lip liner220 products
mascara188 products
facial moisturizer/treatment174 products
exfoliant/scrub174 products
setting powder/spray163 products
facial powder156 products
antiperspirant/deodorant149 products
shampoo131 products
makeup primer120 products
serums & essences100 products
around-eye cream98 products
lip balm97 products
mask70 products
CC cream67 products
BB cream64 products
toothpaste63 products
lip plumper57 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)53 products
moisturizer50 products
facial cleanser46 products
hair styling aide46 products
conditioner40 products
hair color and bleaching38 products
hair treatment/serum33 products
body oil30 products
glitter28 products
baby sunscreen27 products
26 products
lip balm with SPF22 products
anti-aging21 products
body powder20 products
pore strips20 products
bath oil/salts/soak15 products
body wash/cleanser15 products
liquid hand soap14 products
bubble bath12 products
baby toothpaste11 products
depilatory10 products
hair spray9 products
tooth whitening8 products
skin fading/lightener7 products
toners/astringents7 products
hair-loss treatment7 products
hair removal waxes7 products
hand cream6 products
other eye makeup6 products
nail glue6 products
styling gel/lotion5 products
nail treatment5 products
fragrance for women5 products
sunless tanning5 products
makeup remover5 products
body art5 products
shaving cream4 products
body firming lotion3 products
baby lotion3 products
damaged skin treatment3 products
mouthwash3 products
foot odor control3 products
bar soap3 products
beard care3 products
shaving cream (men's)2 products
after sun product2 products
foot cleansing2 products
fragrance for men2 products
body spray2 products
cuticle treatment1 products
baby powder1 products
after shave1 products
diaper cream1 products
polish remover1 products
tanning oil1 products
eyelash glue1 products
depilatory (men's)1 products
muscle/joint soreness1 products
facial cleansing wipes1 products
body cleansing wipes1 products

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife and humansNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlifeNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of carcinogenicityOpen scientific literature
Not likely to be carcinogenic in humansOpen scientific literature
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

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicityScorecard.org Toxicity Information
Classified as a low human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
any irritation - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedOpen scientific literature

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - anyOpen scientific literature

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
65522 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

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
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • 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).
  • ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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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