Dimethicone Hazards

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Dimethicone is made up of silicone-based polymers.
Dimethicone is made up of silicone-based polymers. (Image: ballyscanlon/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Dimethicone, according to The Free Dictionary, is "a silicone oil used as a skin protective." Cosmetic Info.org reports that dimethicone is made up of "silicone based polymers" and is most commonly found in "cosmetic and personal care products including cosmetic creams and lotions, bath soaps, shampoo and hair care products." There are, however, hazards that are associated with this chemical.

Hazards to the Body

Because dimethicone is a chemical, its usage needs to be carefully controlled. Dimethicone, according to Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, was placed on the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List which reported the chemical to be "classified as expected to be toxic or harmful." Drug.com states that the most common side effects to dimethicone are "mild itching, burning, or stinging." Consumers should also be aware of allergic reactions to dimethicone which can cause life-endangering situations.

Dimethicone is most commonly used on skin.
Dimethicone is most commonly used on skin. (Image: body care image by Steve Lovegrove from Fotolia.com)

Hazards to the Environment

Dimethicone can also be hazardous to the environment. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database states that dimethicone was placed on the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List because it was "suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative." This statement is supported by C. Stevens, who reports that dimethicone affects "sediments and soils."

Dimethicone is hazardous to the environment by affecting soils and sediments.
Dimethicone is hazardous to the environment by affecting soils and sediments. (Image: dirt road image by Tomasz Plawski from Fotolia.com)

Use as Instructed

Dimethicone is a primary ingredient in many cosmetics and personal products but small amounts are also used in foods. The amount in any product however, is restricted. According to Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments states that "product type restrictions or differences [are] noted in safety assessment by industry panel" while its usage in food is monitored by the FDA Food Additive Status which "designated [it] as safe for general or specific, limited use in food."

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