Creators of
Campaign for
Safe Cosmetics

BCPP’s Red List of Chemicals of Concern

At a Glance

BCPP’s Red List serves as the basis for a restricted substances list of chemicals that a brand, company or manufacturer prohibits or restricts from use in their beauty, personal care, or cleaning products.

The adoption of such a list of restricted substances helps build customer trust based on the verified safety of company product ingredients and corporate transparency.


The Red List helps companies to avoid the use of chemicals with adverse health effects in cosmetics, cleaning products, and fragrance

BCPP’s Red List guides companies as they create new products and reformulate products to be safer as, for example, many cleaning product companies will do in response to the new labeling requirements in the California Cleaning Products Right to Know Act of 2017. It also helps ensure that fragrances made in-house or supplied to a company by a fragrance house are free of chemicals of concern to our health.

Companies should adopt a “do not use list” of toxic chemicals, also referred to as a “restricted substances list” or “red list,” to gauge the safety of ingredients including fragrance chemicals in beauty, personal care, and cleaning products. The list helps businesses define which chemicals to ban or restrict in the products they make and sell. The Red List can also guide product formulation within companies; establish guidelines for a manufacturer’s suppliers of fragrance, raw materials, and finished products; and provide ingredient transparency to consumers.

For more information on BCPP’s Red List including usage restrictions, contaminants, and testing recommendations, please refer to the Red List Technical Guidance.

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Contact us to access the source data for our Red List.


In 2015, BCPP’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics developed a Red List of Chemicals of Concern in Cosmetics. The list included 102 chemicals found in personal care products that pose serious, chronic health concerns including cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive and developmental harm. We have since expanded the Red List of Chemicals of Concern to also include chemicals used in cleaning products and fragrances. The list includes the original cosmetics Red List, fragrance ingredients found through product testing, as well as authoritative lists of hazardous chemicals compiled by colleague organizations, researchers, and reputable scientific bodies.

What’s On BCPP’s Red List

Our new BCPP Red List of Chemicals of Concern includes 363 chemicals used in beauty, personal care and cleaning products, or fragrance compounds. Many of these chemicals are used in more than one product category. The list includes:

  • 194 chemicals of concern used in beauty and personal care products
  • 159 chemicals of concern used in cleaning products
  • 218 chemicals of concern used in fragrance

Red List Methodology: Authoritative Lists Used to Define Health Hazards

  • Agents Classified by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs
IARC Group 1: Known Human Carcinogen
IARC Group 2A: Probable Human Carcinogen
IARC Group 2B: Possible Human Carcinogen
  • National Toxicology Program Report on Carcinogens
NTP Known: Known Human Carcinogen
NTP RA: Reasonably Anticipated to Be a Human Carcinogen
  • EU Globally Harmonized System
GHS H350: May Cause Cancer)
GHS H351: Suspected of Causing Cancer
  • California Proposition 65 Listed Chemicals
Prop 65 Chemicals Known to the State of California to be Linked to Cancer
Mammary Gland Carcinogens
  • Silent Spring Institute List of Chemicals Linked to Mammary Gland Tumors
Endocrine-Disrupting Compounds
  • EU Strategy for Endocrine Disruptors
EU ED Category 1: Substances for which endocrine activity has been documented in at least one study of a living organism. These substances are given the highest priority for further studies.
EU ED Category 2: Substances without sufficient evidence of endocrine activity, but with evidence of biological activity relating to endocrine disruption.
  • EU Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern for Authorization
  • ChemSec SIN List
  • The Endocrine Exchange List of Potential Endocrine Disruptors
Reproductive and Developmental Toxicants
  • California Proposition 65 Listed Chemicals
Prop 65: developmental
Prop 65-f: developmental — female
Prop 65-m: developmental — male
Prop 65-f,m: developmental — male, female
  • Nominated for Study NIH
NTP-R: Reproductive toxicity
NTP-D Developmental toxicity
  • EU Globally Harmonized System
EU EC H361f: Suspected of damaging fertility
EU EC H361d: Suspected of damaging the unborn child
  • EU Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern for Authorization
Neurotoxic Chemicals
  • EU Globally Harmonized System
GHS 336: May cause drowsiness or dizziness
Respiratory Toxicity/ Asthmagens
  • EU Globally Harmonized System
EU EC H334: May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled
  • Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
AOEC R — Suspected Asthmagen
AOEC Rs— Asthmagen, Sensitizer
AOEC Rr— RADS: Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome
AOEC G— Generally Accepted Asthmagen
Chronic Aquatic Toxicity
  • EU Globally Harmonized System
GHS 410: Very toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects
GHS 411: Toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects
GHS H412: Harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects
Skin Irritation
  • EU Fragrance Allergen: Established Contact Allergens in Humans
  • EU Globally Harmonized System
EU EC H315: Causes skin irritation
EU EC H314: Causes severe skin burns and eye damage
Persistent, Bio-accumulative and Toxic
  • OSPAR PBT: Chemicals for Priority Action

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