Canada Clears Siloxane D5 | March 12, 2012 Issue - Vol. 90 Issue 11 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 11 | p. 12 | News of The Week
Issue Date: March 12, 2012

Canada Clears Siloxane D5

Environment: Report allays concerns over bioaccumulation
Department: Business
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: silicones, cosmetics, environment
Siloxane D5 is widely used in deodorants and antiperspirants.
Credit: Marc Reisch/C&EN
D5 siloxanes are widely used in deodorants and antiperspirants
Siloxane D5 is widely used in deodorants and antiperspirants.
Credit: Marc Reisch/C&EN

A decision by the Canadian government clears the way for continued use of decamethyl­cyclopentasiloxane, or D5, in personal care products such as skin creams, antiperspirants, and shampoos. The compound is not harmful to the environment, and any bioaccumulation does not pose a danger to biodiversity, a review panel found. Canada accepts the finding, Environment Minister Peter Kent says.

Regulators had been concerned that D5 poses a danger by accumulating in marine environments. A ban in Canada could have triggered reformulation across the global cosmetics industry.

“The silicones industry welcomes the minister’s declaration that D5 is safe for the environment and fully supports the removal of D5 from a proposed list of toxic substances,” says Karluss Thomas, executive director of the Silicones Environmental, Health & Safety Council of North America.

Beta Montemayor, director of environmental sciences and regulations at the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association, says the review of D5 allowed recent science showing D5 poses no danger to the environment “to come to the forefront.”

Cosmetic makers value D5 for the nongreasy feel it gives to skin creams and the bounce and shine it allows hair care products to provide. It can be added to products in various proportions, from a few percent to 85% in some hair glosses. Authorities were concerned that D5-containing products that go down the drain could ultimately enter and harm marine organisms.

A spokesman for the European Silicones Centre (CES) says regulators in Europe continue to review the environmental safety of D5. They are also reviewing octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, or D4, which D5 has replaced in many products. Members of CES and its North American counterpart include Bluestar Silicones, Dow Corning, Momentive Performance Materials, Shin-Etsu Chemical, and Wacker Chemie.

Canadian authorities formed the D5 review panel in 2010 in response to industry complaints after Canadian environmental authorities began making plans to limit use of D5. Authorities still intend to move ahead on limiting use of D4. A spokesman for Environment Canada says regulators will publish final restrictions no later than July 15.

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