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Chapter 16

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Clothing and Cosmetics

This chapter provides a review of the substances known to be, or suspected of being, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) which are commonly present in everyday products, focusing on cosmetics (personal care products) and clothing. Risk assessment of EDCs in the general population should duly take into account the potentially widespread presence in these articles, together with other sources (aggregate exposure); moreover, the combined exposure to different EDCs contained in the same types of product should also be assessed. Chemicals used in clothing as water repellents, flame retardants, biocides etc. include both recognized EDCs (phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, perfluoroalkyl substances) and substances that can release EDCs (alkylphenols, dioxins). In cosmetics, an indicative priority list in the EU includes 14 substances: benzophenone-3, kojic acid, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, propylparaben, triclosan, resorcinol, octocrylene, triclocarban, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), benzophenone, homosalate, benzyl salicylate, genistein and daidzein. Many EDCs are subject to actions at the community level to minimize their effects on human health and on the environment. These actions involve replacing the identified substances or reducing the levels of the substance contained in the products. An overview of the regulatory actions at European Union (EU) and at worldwide level is included. In particular, hazardous substances, including EDCs, used in a variety of articles, products and manufacturing processes around the globe are collected in the SIN list. The SIN acronym – substitute it now – implies that these chemicals should be removed as soon as possible as they pose a threat to human health and the environment.

Publication details

Print publication date
08 Dec 2020
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN

From the book series:
Issues in Toxicology