Other ConcernsUse restrictions (high), Persistence and bioaccumulation (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (high), Ecotoxicology (low), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high), and Contamination concerns (high)
SYNONYMSBENZENE, METHYL, BENZENE, METHYL-, METHYL- BENZENE, METHYLBENZENE, TOLUENE, and TOLUOL
A volatile petrochemical solvent and paint thinner, toluene is a potent neurotoxicant that acts as an irritant, impairs breathing, and causes nausea. Mother’s exposure to toluene vapors during pregnancy may cause developmental damage in the fetus. In human epidemiological studies and in animal studies toluene has been also associated with toxicity to the immune system and a possible link to blood cancer such as malignant lymphoma.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
MODERATEAllergies & Immunotoxicity
MODERATEDevelopmental and Reingredientive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
|nail polish||2 products|
|Violation of industry recommendations - Unsafe for use in cosmetics||International Fragrance Association Codes & Standards|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - any||CosIng|
|Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Restrictions on impurities recommended by industry safety panel||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Known human respiratory toxicant||EPA Hazardous Air Pollutants|
|Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Limited evidence of kidney toxicity||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|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|
|One or more animal studies show any effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient)||EPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide Ingredients|
|Classified as a low human health priority||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|reproductive - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox study||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
|Classified as skin irritant||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Human any irritant - strong evidence||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Allowed workplace exposures restricted to moderate doses||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Possible human developmental toxicant||California EPA Proposition 65|
|Human developmental toxicant - strong evidence||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|Limited evidence of reproductive toxicity||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Limited evidence of reproductive toxicity||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Persistent or bioaccumulative and moderate to high toxicity concern in humans||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Not suspected to be bioaccumulative||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|Wildlife and environmental toxicity||EPA Clean Water Act - Priority Pollutants|
|Suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Suspected to be an environmental toxin||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Considered safe based on assumption of low absorption||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Insufficient data to determine safety||EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)|
|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|
|17631 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical||NLM PubMed|
|Occupational hazards related to handling||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Limited or incomplete evidence of cancer according to safety/hazard data – government assessment cannot classify as human carcinogen due to data gaps||EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)|
|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|
|nervous system - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox study||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - any||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
- IFRA (International Fragrance Association). 2006. Codes and Standards.
- 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/ .
- CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
- EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2005. Office of Air. The 112(b)1 Hazardous Air Pollutants List (as modified). Last modified: 12 Dec 2005.
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
- ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
- EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
- EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1987 & 2005. Office of Pesticide Programs. Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients in Pesticide Products - Categorized List of Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients.
- 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.
- California EPA (California Environmental Protection Agency). 9/2008. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
- EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986-2005 guidelines.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
- 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).
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.