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Acetone is a colorless liquid. It is a manufactured chemical that is also found naturally in the environment. In cosmetics and personal care products it is frequently used in the formulation of nail polish removers, but may also be found in nail polish, bath products, cleansing products, fragrance products, hair care products and skin care products.
Acetone functions as a solvent and as a denaturant.
Acetone occurs naturally in plants, and it is a product of the breakdown of body fat. Acetone evaporates easily. It is flammable and soluble in water.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits Acetone to be used as in indirect food additive as a part of adhesives and as a component of food-contact coatings. The FDA permits small amounts of Acetone to be present in spice oleoresins as a result of the extraction process.
FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Acetone:
As part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) High Production Volume (HPV) chemical program, safety information available on Acetone was reviewed. The review noted that although Acetone is not considered a skin irritant or sensitizer, its solvent action can result in the removal of fat from the skin following skin contact. Acetone is an eye irritant. Dermal carcinogenicity studies were negative. The reviewers recommended that no additional studies on Acetone be completed.
Link to the OECD summary: http://www.chem.unep.ch/irptc/sids/oecdsids/67641.pdf
Acetone may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has developed a Toxicological Profile and ToxFAQ on Acetone. Link to the ATSDR ToxFAQ on Acetone
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a reference dose (RfD) for Acetone: Link to the EPA RfD summary sheet
Acetone is an important solvent used to make plastic, fibers, drugs and other chemicals. It is the simplest example of a ketone, which is a class of chemicals characterized by a carbonyl group (O=C) linked to two other carbon atoms.
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
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