2D structural formula of Coumarin


What is it?

“Coumarin, with the chemical formula C9H6O2, is a fragrant organic chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, which is a colorless crystalline substance in its standard state. It is a natural substance found in many plants.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This ingredient belongs to the groups:

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) list the substance as causing allergies.

The substance is restricted for use in cosmetic products in the European Union by CosIng. CosIng is the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classifies that the chemical “is toxic if swallowed, is toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects, is toxic in contact with skin, is toxic if inhaled and may cause an allergic skin reaction.”

The fragrance chemical coumarin is classified as a frequent and well recognized allergen in CosIng.

The result from a study researching the connection between the chemical and mild neurological dysfunction (MND) showed that “exposure to coumarins during gestation increases the risk for MND in children of school age.”

How is it used?

Coumarin has a wide variety of uses and can be found in everything from perfumes, tobacco flavors and medicines. Even though the chemical compound is prohibited to be used as a food additive in most countries, however it can still be found, for example, in artificial vanilla substitutes.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

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Read about the other ingredients.