Learn about benzophenone and if it's safe.

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About benzophenone

Benzophenone is an industrial chemical. It also occurs in the environment, in some fruits and plants.

You can be exposed to benzophenone from dust, food, indoor air and products like:

  • inks
  • toners
  • cosmetics
  • interior paints and coatings
  • colourants, such as inks used in food packaging

It is also used to flavour food.

Safety of benzophenone

We assessed the potential health and environmental risks of benzophenone through a draft chemical risk assessment.

We propose that benzophenone may be a risk to your health. For example, some products that contain benzophenone, such as nail polish and paint, may:

  • affect the kidneys
  • increase the risk of cancer

We also propose that benzophenone exposure is not a health risk from:

  • dust
  • food
  • indoor air

  The substance is not harmful to the environment.

Ongoing protective measures

For your safety, we may:

  • add benzophenone to the:
  • urge manufacturers to reduce the amount of benzophenone in interior paint and coating products
  • require additional assessment or control measures for any new uses, imports or production of cosmetics containing benzophenone

We will continue to track new information on the exposure and hazards of this substance. We will take action as needed.

Minimize your exposure to benzophenone

To minimize your exposure:

  • read product labels and follow safety warnings and directions
    • labels on cosmetics must list all ingredients
  • follow the manufacturer’s directions to dispose of the product safely
  • limit direct skin contact with products that may contain benzophenone, such as nail polish or paint

If you are exposed to benzophenone at work, talk to your employer and occupational health and safety (OHS) official about:

For more information

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