STYRENE

What is it?

“Styrene, also known as ethenylbenzene, vinylbenzene, and phenylethene, is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5CH=CH2.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Styrene is on the Red List* from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund). They list the compound as a probable and reasonably anticipated carcinogen, an endocrine disruptor, developmental toxicant, and of occupational concern.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identifies that styrene “causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure, is a flammable liquid and vapour, causes serious eye irritation, is harmful if inhaled, causes skin irritation, may be fatal if swallowed and enters airways, is suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child, is harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects and may cause respiratory irritation.”

This substance has in studies proved to be substantially absorbed through the skin = it penetrates and is readily (easily) absorbed by human skin. This could mean that styrene also enhances the absorption of other ingredients.

* “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?

Styrene is used when perfuming cosmetic products* such as sunscreens and nail polish.

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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SUBSTANCES