Skin, Eye & Lung Irritants. SCA endorses products with the Toxic-Free Tick, that do not contain hydroquinone. The EPA states that “Hydroquinone is also a skin irritant in humans. Chronic (long-term) occupational exposure to hydroquinone dust can result in eye irritation, corneal effects, and impaired vision. Increased skin tumor incidence has been reported in mice treated dermally. EPA has not classified hydroquinone for carcinogenicity.” - www.epa.gov
CAS No: 123-31-9 "1,4-dihydroxybenzene; and Synonym(s): 1,4-BENZENEDIOL; 1,4-DIHYDROXYBENZENE; 1,4BENZENEDIOL; 4-HYDROXYPHENOL; P-DIOXYBENZENE; P-HYDROXYPHENOL; 1,4-BENZENEDIOL; 1,4-DIHYDROXY-BENZEEN (DUTCH) ; 1,4-DIHYDROXY-BENZOL (GERMAN) ; 1,4-DIHYDROXYBENZEN (CZECH) ; 1,4-DIHYDROXYBENZENE-" - EWG
HOW IS IT USED?
Commonly found in: "Skin lighteners, facial and skin cleansers, facial moisturizers, hair conditioners, finger nail coating products." And, "Hydroquinone is used in cosmetics as an antioxidant, fragrance ingredient and oxidizing agent in hair dyes. Hydroquinone may also be used as a stabilizer that inhibits the polymerization of the adhesive in artificial nails." - CosmeticsInfo.org
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY
Banned from cosmetics in the European Union; Restricted use in Canadian cosmetics
Violation of government restrictions; Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmetics CosIng; Restricted in the US max 2% in personal care products only.
Australia, NICNAS No Restrictions: Refer to TGA Poisons Standard
WHAT IS HYDROQUINONE?
"This material causes pigmentation of the eye and, in some cases, permanent corneal damage. There are reported cases of keratitis and discoloration of the conjunctiva among men exposed to concentrations ranging from 10 to 30 mg of vapor or dust of HQ per cubic meter of air. Ingestion of 1 g by an adult has caused dizziness, sense of suffocation, increased rate of respiration, vomiting, pallor, muscular twitching, headache, dyspnea, cyanosis and collapse and eventually death due to respiratory failure." - ToxNet
"Hydroquinone may be helpful in epidermal-type melasma. Concentrations vary from 2% to 10% and hydroquinone may be used twice daily for 12 weeks. Hydroquinone may cause local skin irritation, however, and thereby leading to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, making the skin pigmentation worse." - ScienceDirect.com