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Monday
Jun292009

Dimethicone

Today's Chemical:

Dimethicone

EWG Risk Score:

3

What is it:

Dimethicone is a silicone product that's used as a skin conditioning agent and emollient.  According to EWG, "Dimethicone is a mixture of fully methylated linear siloxane polymers end blocked with trimethylsiloxy units."  It's also known at "polydimethylsiloxane"

Risk/Safety Info:

According to the MSDS sheet found here, Dimethicone:

  • May bioconcentrate in aquatic organisms
  • May cause eye irritation
  • May cause skin irritation
  • May be harmful if absorbed through the skin.
  • May cause irritation of the digestive tract; harmful if swallowed
  • May cause respiratory tract irritation.  May be harmful if inhaled.
  • Adverse reproductive effects have been reported in animals. 
  • Animal studies have reported the development of tumors. 

Steph's Opinion:
It is unknown if the reproductive effects and tumor growth animal studies are based on external application or ingestion (typically there are ingested in those types of studies).  However, "may be harmful if absorbed through the skin" is a pretty clear clue to avoid this ingredient. 

Sources:

http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=702011&refurl=/product.php?prod_id=49387&&nothanks=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydimethylsiloxane

http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/95130.htm

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Reader Comments (2)

Hi Stephanie, I have used quite a bit of a product called Ovol with my sons and their collicky stomachs... Dimethicone is one of the main medicinal ingredients... yikes! Could you recommend a different product?

Wed, September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

It appears that Ovol is actually simethicone, not dimethicone. Speak with your pediatrician regarding weighing any risks vs. the benefits, and if there are any alternatives or dietary changes that you could make instead.

Thu, September 13, 2012 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

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