Issue Date: March 16, 2009
Cosmetic Chemicals Banned In Canada
As part of its ongoing assessment of commercial chemicals, the Canadian government announced in early March that it will ban the use of four substances in cosmetics. Governmental agencies Health Canada and Environment Canada say the compounds could pose a hazard to human health, although the public’s exposure is low. One of the substances is 2-methoxyethanol acetate, an industrial solvent found in some nail polishes and glues. Another is 2-methy-1-propanol, which is used to manufacture—and is sometimes found as an impurity in—propylene glycol monomethyl ether. A third is 2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethanol, a substance listed on cosmetic labels as methoxydiglycol and also known as DEGME. The fourth is Pigment Red 3, used mainly in paints but found in a few cosmetics. “The impact of Canada’s actions will be negligible,” says John Bailey, chief scientist with the Washington, D.C.-based Personal Care Products Council, an industry group. Few cosmetics use the chemicals Canada has banned, he says.
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