Canada proposes personal care ingredients for toxic list

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care Hygiene Cosmetics

The Canadian government has earmarked a family of chemicals used in
personal care products for the toxic list as part of a
comprehensive safety review of chemicals found in consumer goods.

Industry will have 60 days to comment on the proposals before the chemicals are added to the federal list of substances that are toxic for the environment or human health. Government proposes 11 toxic ingredients​ Among the 11 substances proposed for the toxic list, Cyclopentasiloxane D5 is the most commonly used in personal care, according to Michael Patton, the spokesperson for the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CCTFA). A building block of silicone, the chemical was considered to be an environmental hazard, especially to water-based organisms, but as for human health it was described as being safe at current levels of exposure. Similar conclusions were reached about its close relations Cyclopentasiloxane D4 and D6 although these substances are rarely used in personal care. Environmental risks emphasized ​Patton told that the trade association is very happy that these substances do not threaten human health and is prepared to work with the government to eliminate or minimize the environmental risks. Of the chemicals proposed for the toxic list, Vinyl Acetate was the only ingredient legally used in personal care that may pose a threat to human health. However, Patton said the substance, which is used is to make polymers, is rarely found in personal care products. The representative of the CCTFA said the trade body fully supported the efforts of the government to comprehensively review commonly used ingredients. Over 200 substances under the microscope ​ Under the Chemicals Management Plan, over 200 substances have been identified as potentially hazardous and now the government is looking at these in detail before releasing its conclusions about batches of ingredients at regular intervals over the next few years. In the latest group 11 of the16 chemicals under review were proposed for the toxic list and now manufacturers and others have 60 days to comment before the government makes its final decision. A chemical that is designated as toxic will not necessarily be removed from the market but being added to the list is the first step in a regulatory process to help the authorities control its use. Patton said the process was conducted solely on the basis of science and not politics. He said it will help create the most comprehensive regulatory system for personal care in the world.

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