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FORMALDEHYDE


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Health concerns of ingredient
About the ratings
Canceryes
Developmental & reproductive toxicityyes
Allergies & immunotoxicityyes
Other HIGH concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Occupational hazards, Use restrictions
Other MODERATE concerns: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Biochemical or cellular level changes
Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology

About the ratings

EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings below indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer

About FORMALDEHYDE: Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives, including diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol ... read more

Synonym(s): FORMALIN; FORMIC ALDEHYDE; MERTHALDEHYDE; METHANAL; METHYL ALDEHYDE; OXOMETHANE; OXYMETHYLENE; ALDEHYD MRAVENCI (CZECH) ; ALDEHYDE FORMIQUE (FRENCH) ; ALDEIDE FORMICA (ITALIAN) ; BFV

Cancer

Type of Concern Reference
Known human carcinogenInt'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens
Possible human carcinogenAmer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - Carcinogens
Possible human carcinogenEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
Possible human carcinogenNTP Report on Carcinogens, 11th Edition
Possible human carcinogenCalifornia EPA Proposition 65
Limited evidence of carcinogenicityEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of carcinogenicityNIOSH Occupational Carcinogens
Cancer - moderate evidence - hematologicCHE Toxicant and Disease Database
Cancer - moderate evidence - respiratoryCHE Toxicant and Disease Database
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Allergies/immunotoxicity

Type of Concern Reference
Known human immune system toxicantNational Library of Medicine HazMap
Human immune and respiratory toxicant - strong evidenceAssociation of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
Human immune toxicant - strong evidenceCHE Toxicant and Disease Database
Human skin toxicant - strong evidenceCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Limited evidence of immune system toxicityEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity
Human immune system toxicant - moderate evidenceCHE Toxicant and Disease Database
Human immune system toxicant - moderate evidenceNational Library of Medicine HazMap
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Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of Concern Reference
Known human respiratory toxicantEPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
Possible human hematologic toxicantCHE Toxicant and Disease Database
Possible human cardiovascular toxicantCHE Toxicant and Disease Database
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Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Type of Concern Reference
Human developmental toxicant - moderate evidenceCHE Toxicant and Disease Database
Human reproductive toxicant - moderate evidenceCHE Toxicant and Disease Database
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Occupational hazards

Type of Concern Reference
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling

Biochemical or cellular level changes

Type of Concern Reference
Cancer - moderate evidence - immune systemCHE Toxicant and Disease Database

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Type of Concern Reference
Human skin irritant - moderate evidenceNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Ecotoxicology

Type of Concern Reference
Suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Type of Concern Reference
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
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Miscellaneous

Type of Concern Reference
Occupational hazards related to handling European Union - Classification & Labelling

Multiple, additive exposure sources

Type of Concern Reference
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food FDA Food Additive Status
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food FDA Everything Added to Food

Data gaps

Type of Concern Reference

Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)

references

government/industry list/academic study reference
European Union - Classification & LabellingCPS&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.
Amer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - CarcinogensACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) 2008. ACGIH cancer classification system. www.acgih.org.
FDA Food Additive StatusFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsAOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
Canada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics IngredientsHealth Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
CHE Toxicant and Disease DatabaseCHE (The Collaborative on Health and the Environment). 2006. Toxicant and Disease Database.
Cosmetic Ingredient Review AssessmentsCIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
FDA Everything Added to FoodFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListEC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986-2005 guidelines.
EPA Hazardous Air PollutantsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2005. Office of Air. The 112(b)1 Hazardous Air Pollutants List (as modified). Last modified: 12 Dec 2005.
National Library of Medicine HazMapNLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - CarcinogensIARC (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).
EPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide IngredientsEPA (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.
NIOSH Occupational CarcinogensNIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 2006. NIOSH Carcinogens List (Potential occupational carcinogens). http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npotocca.html.
NTP Report on Carcinogens, 11th EditionNTP (National Toxicology Program). 2005. Report on Carcinogens, Eleventh Edition; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
California EPA Proposition 65California 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.

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