Canada Clears Siloxane D5 | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: March 7, 2012

Canada Clears Siloxane D5

Environment: Regulator nixes concerns over bioaccumulation
Department: Business
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: silicones, cosmetics, environment
Siloxane D5 is widely used in deodorants and antiperspirants.
Credit: Marc S. Reisch/C&EN
A photo of a store display of deoderants.
Siloxane D5 is widely used in deodorants and antiperspirants.
Credit: Marc S. 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, a review panel found, and Canada’s Environment Minister, Peter Kent, says the government accepts that finding.

Regulators had been concerned that D5 poses a danger to biological diversity 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 in weights ranging 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 Center (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 Wacker Chemie, Dow Corning, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Momentive Performance Materials, and Bluestar Silicones.

Canadian authorities formed the Siloxane 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 the regulator will publish final restrictions no later than July 15.

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