What Is It?
Butane, Isobutane and Propane are colorless and odorless gases. Isopentane is a liquid. In cosmetics and personal care products, these ingredients are used in the formulation of shaving cream, cleansing products, hair conditioners, and makeup.
Why Is It Used?
Butane, Isobutane and Propane are compressed gases that are used as aerosol propellants. Isopentane, which can be used as an aerosol Compressed gases that are used to expel products from aerosols., can also be used as a Substances, usually liquids, that are used to dissolve other substances..
Butane, Isobutane, Propane and Isopentane are volatile substances derived from petroleum and natural gas. These ingredients are used in cosmetics and personal care products as a replacements for chlorofluorocarbons, or CFC propellants, some of which have been shown to have negative effects on the environment.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed the safety of Butane, Isobutane and Propane and has placed these ingredients on the list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (“GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe. Under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive.). Isopentane has been approved as an Indirect food additives are additives that may become part of the food in trace amounts due to its packaging, storage or other handling. For example, minute amounts of packaging substances may find their way into foods during storage. for use in the manufacture of foamed plastics. The safety of Butane, Isobutane, Propane and Isopentane has been assessed by the The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. Expert (CIR) Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated scientific data and concluded that Butane, Isobutane, Isopentane and Propane were safe as a cosmetic ingredients under present practices of concentration and use. In 2002, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on these ingredients and reaffirmed the above conclusion.
CIR Safety Review: Since Butane, Isobutane, Propane and Isopentane are used predominantly as aerosol propellants, inhalation toxicity testing rather than dermal toxicity has been emphasized. Many studies have been conducted on the anesthetic effects of these ingredients. It is believed, however, that these observations have little relevance to the use of these ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products, because of the brief and low level exposures involved in their use.
As aerosols, Butane, Isobutane, Propane and Isopentane are greatly diluted in air when discharged and it is estimated that, as propellants, they would remain on the skin no longer than 10 seconds. Because they evaporate quickly, these ingredients, even in foam products would not remain in contact with the skin longer than 10 seconds. Such a short period of contact makes the absence of sensitization, phototoxicity, and photosensitization studies unimportant. Furthermore, exposure standards have already been set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and most of the substance is volatilized before it can come in contact with the skin.
Butane, Isobutane, Propane and Isopentane may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..
More Scientific Information
Butane, Isobutane, Propane and Isopentane are low molecular weight alkanes. Butane, also called n-butane, is the unbranched alkane with four carbon atoms, while Isobutane is the branched alkane with 4 carbons. Propane is the unbranched alkane with three carbon atoms. Isopentane the a branched alkane with five carbons. These ingredients are used as a propellants in cosmetics and personal care products. Low molecular weight alkanes are highly volatile and have low solubility.
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
- Food Ingredients and Packaging
- Food Contact Substances
- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (“GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe. Under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive.)
- Search the Code of Federal Regulations
- EU Cosmetics Inventory