Common consumer items like certain cosmetics, personal care items and household cleaning products contain petrolatum. Learn about this chemical and why it is not considered harmful in products sold in Canada.

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What is petrolatum?

Petrolatum is a petroleum-based chemical. It is found in everyday consumer products like certain cosmetics and personal care items, including:

  • lip balms
  • moisturizers
  • petroleum jelly

Is petrolatum safe?

Based on current uses, petrolatum is considered safe in all products used in Canada. The Government of Canada has evaluated the risk of petrolatum use in Canadian products through scientific evaluation. The type of testing done is called a chemical risk assessment. It looks at whether a chemical is safe in:

  • products used as intended
    • Canadians are reminded to use all products according to the manufacturer's directions
  • the amounts used in consumer products
    • only highly refined petrolatum is used in products sold in Canada to avoid potential health risks

Did you know?

Cosmetics must include a list of ingredients on the label. Labelling helps Canadians to make more informed decisions about the products they use.

The risk assessment has not identified any specific cause for concern with the use of cosmetics containing petrolatum. You have the option to choose items that do not contain petrolatum by checking the list of ingredients.

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