Canada adds three new materials to toxic substances list

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Natural environment Cosmetics

Canada adds cosmetic ingredient to toxic substances list
In effect since early 2000, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act exists to safeguard the natural environment and human health. Following recent CEPA assessments, three materials—one of particular interest to cosmetic makers—have been deemed toxic.  

The three materials added to the list, according to a recently published item on Canada’s gazette.gc.ca site, are DEHA, Prepod (which is the reaction products of 2-propanone with diphenylamine), and Solvent red 23.

Solvent red 23 (C22​H16​N4​O) is also known by the INCI name CI 26100 and used as a colorant in cosmetic product formulations.

No surprise

Solvent red 23 has held the attention of the Governor in Council, overseeing the act for some time. But it is only now that an issue has been published stating, “the screening assessments determined that these substances may have harmful effects on the environment or human health as defined in…the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). Therefore, the Government is adding the three substances to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA.”

Since 2006 the government has been looking into 200 chemicals of interest and assessing their impact on people’s health as well as on the natural environment. Reviewing 10 – 20 chemicals at a time in a series of batches, government researchers investigated Solvent red 23 as part of the program’s batch 6.

Why toxic?

Solvent red 23 is a danger to human health, as the Canadian government sees it. When the chemical bonds of this cosmetic ingredient break, 4-aminoazobenzene is released. And, 4-aminoazobenzene is a classified carcinogen.

Outlining its reasoning for adding Solvent red 23 to the list, the government explains “based on potential exposure of the general population to Solvent Red 23 from use of certain personal care products (i.e. oral exposure from use of lip gloss/lip balm), and the evidence of genotoxicity and carcinogenicity, the screening assessment concluded that Solvent Red 23 has the potential to be harmful to human health.”

The ingredient was not determined to be harmful the natural environment.

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