Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate; Octyl Methoxycinnamate
(in 12,573 products)
Banned by Gov or classified as a carcinogen by IARC

Potential Risk Index®:

ISCE InhaleISCE SwallowISCE ContactISCE Environment
PRI Legend


1. Sunscreen - Physical sunscreens work by deflecting or scattering UV rays. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing and dissipating the UV rays as heat.
Octylmethoxycinnamate or ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate or octinoxate, trade names Eusolex 2292 and Uvinul MC80, is an organic compound that is an ingredient in some sunscreens and lip balms. Its primary use is in sunscreens and other cosmetics to absorb UV-B rays from the sun, protecting the skin from damage. It is also used to reduce the appearance of scars after surgery. [1]
Recent Findings:
The Hawaii Senate Bill 2571, Act 104 banning octyl methoxycinnamate for commercial use was passed on January 1, 2019 but the ban will not be effective until January 2, 2021 in Hawaii State. A coastal city in Florida, Key West, has also banned the use of the chemical. Octyl methoxycinnamate is banned as it is found to be a serious water contaminant to coral reefs.
"The chemicals [Oxybenzone and Octinoxate] also induce deformities in the embryonic development of fish, sea urchins, coral, and shrimp and induce neurological behavioral changes in fish that threaten the continuity of fish populations.".
Octinoxate or Octylmethoxycinnamate (OMC) have shown that it behaves like an endocrine disruptor, with "estrogenic, anti-progestenic and anti-thyroid activity in rats and humans". OMC may also disrupt thyroid hormones and it downregulates (reduces the production of) both testosterone and estradiol. It rapidly permeates the skin and can be detected in blood plasma within 1 – 2 h after application. OMC can even be found in breast milk and hence the high possibility of neonatal exposure. The consequence of chronic exposure and the effects of OMC on the human reproductive system or fertility is not yet clear, and further studies will be needed to understand its effects on human health. [2]
OMC has “disrupting activities” towards the estrogen receptor, androgen receptor, progesterone receptor and thyroid hormone receptor. [3] One particular thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T4), “showed a very marked decrease during the dosing period [on rats over the course of 16 days]”. The sperm counts of rats was decreased corresponding to the dose of OMC given, with the highest dosed group reporting the lowest sperm counts. [4]
Although OMC penetrates the skin quickly and is detectable within 24 h, the levels detected are far too low to cause any significant toxicity to skin cells (human keratinocytes). [5] Both OMC and avobenzone are well within the margin of safety limits for skin permeation even after repeat applications. The skin penetration concentration of Avobenzone was shown to be much lower than OMC. [6]
Octinoxate/Octylmethoxycinnamate (OMC) seems to have an effect on a range of receptors in the endocrine system, although it does not seem to pose a significant health threat, extra care should be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Although OMC permeates the skin quickly, there is minimal toxicity to skin cells.
Scientific References:
2. Photoprotection of ultraviolet-B filters: Updated review of endocrine disrupting properties (Steroids. 2018 Mar;131:46-58)
3. Recent Advances on Endocrine Disrupting Effects of UV Filters (Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Aug; 13(8): 782 DOI:10.3390/ijerph13080782)
4. Effects of pre- and postnatal exposure to the UV-filter octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC) on the reproductive, auditory and neurological development of rat offspring (Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2011 Feb 1;250(3):278-90 DOI:10.1016/j.taap.2010.10.031)
5. Sunscreen Penetration of Human Skin and Related Keratinocyte Toxicity after Topical Application (Skin Pharmacol. Physiol. 2005;18:170–174 DOI:10.1159/000085861)
6. In Vitro Evaluation of Sunscreen Safety: Effects of the Vehicle and Repeated Applications on Skin Permeation from Topical Formulations (Pharm. J. 2018, 10(1), 27 DOI:10.3390/pharmaceutics10010027)
Regulatory References:
1. Hawaii Senate Bill 2571 - Octinoxate
2. Palau Sunscreen Ban (Senate Bill No. 10-135, SD1, HD1), - Octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate)
- Ref: VI/12

Safety and Hazards (UN GHS):

1. Causes skin irritation (H315)
2. Causes serious eye irritation (H319)
3. May cause respiratory irritation (H335)
4. May cause long lasting harmful effects to aquatic life (H413)

Potential Health Concerns For:

1. Oligospermia (PubMed ID:21059369)
2. Poisoning (PubMed ID:18324785)
3. Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects (PubMed ID:21059369)

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