DICHLOROACETIC ACID (DCA)

What is it?

“Dichloroacetic acid (DCA), sometimes called bichloroacetic acid (BCA), is the chemical compound with formula CHCl2COOH. It is an acid, an analogue of acetic acid, in which 2 of the 3 hydrogen atoms of the methyl group have been replaced by chlorine atoms.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Dichloroacetic acid is on the Red List* from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund). They classify the compund as a probable carcinogen, developmental toxicant, and an endocrine disrupting compound.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classifies dichloroacetic acid as a substance that “causes severe skin burns and eye damage and is very toxic to aquatic life.”

* “The Red List includes chemicals found in personal care products that pose serious, chronic health concerns including cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive and developmental harm. The list also flags chemicals that are banned or have use restrictions by the U.S. or other world governments, ingredients that adversely impact worker health, and ingredients that are widely used in products marketed to women of color.” – Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

How is it used?

In cosmetics*, dichloroacetic acid is used in chemical peels, topical medication and tattoo removals. The chemical compound can also be found in hair shampoos and skin fresheners.

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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