What is it?

““Dichloromethane (DCM, or methylene chloride) is an organic compound with the formula CH2Cl2. This colorless, volatile liquid with a moderately sweet aroma is widely used as a solvent.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Dichloromethane is on the Red List from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund). They classify dichloromethane as a probable carcinogen and of occupational concern.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classifies dichloromethane as a substance “suspected of causing cancer, causes serious eye irritation, causes skin irritation and may cause drowsiness or dizziness.”

The compound is restricted for use in cosmetics in the European Union. CosIng has set the “Maximum concentration in ready for use preparation” to 35% (when mixed with 1,1,1-trichloroethane, total concentration must not exceed 35%).  CosIng is the European Commission’s database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.

How is it used?

Dichloromethane is often used as a solvent (dissolves other substances) in various product formulations. In cosmetics*, the substance can be found in products such as shampoos, conditioners, and styling lotions, among others. Apart from being used in cosmetics, the substance  is also found in a wide variety of other applications, including paint strippers, food flavorings, and to decaffeinate tea and coffee.

It has been reported that industrial release of the substance has contaminated surface and groundwater in the US.

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”.

Did you find this ingredient in a product?

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