What is it?

“o-Toluidine (ortho-toluidine) is an organic compound with the chemical formula C7H9N. This arylamine is a colorless to pale-yellow liquid with a poor solubility in water.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Because of its hazardous properties, o-Toluidine is for the most part banned for manufacturing and use in western countries.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identifies that the substance “is toxic if swallowed, is toxic if inhaled, may cause cancer, causes serious eye irritation, is toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects, causes serious eye damage, is harmful in contact with skin, is suspected of causing genetic defects and causes skin irritation.”

The substance is on ECHA Candidate List of “Substances of very High Concern.”

o-Toluidine contains amines and risk because of this forming toxic nitrosamines in products.


Even though it is not listed on the list of ingredients, products with o-Toluidine may contain impurities from:

  • Nitrosamines –  Linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, organ system toxicity, and is prohibited to use in cosmetics in the EU and Canada.

How is it used?

Most commonly, o-Toluidine is used as a dye. It can be found in cosmetic products* like hair colors.

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.