Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Science I am confused, are silicones bioaccumulative?


  • OldPerry

    November 29, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    I guess it comes down to where you get your information from.

    Credo Beauty is a marketing company. They do not do any research themselves. The information they provide should not be taken as serious and can be mostly dismissed as biased information. They benefit from scaring consumers away from buying standard beauty products into buying more expensive, less effective beauty products. This is their motivation.

    Similarly, the EWG is a fear mongering group and any information that they publish can also be be dismissed. They do not do ANY research themselves.

    This is not to say that they are necessarily publishing misinformation, but at best they are publishing second hand information that they specifically translate into something that supports the marketing or fear narrative that they want to communicate.  

    Bottom line is that you should go to the direct sources and ignore indirect sources like EWG and Credo.

    Belinda is well-meaning and provides less biased information, but she is not an expert in the environmental impact of ingredients. Like the other two sources she provides second hand information. I would trust her information over the other two examples but none of them are wholly reliable because they don’t directly do the research.

    So, you have to go to the research.  This research article says they can be biodegraded. - http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

    So  does this article - https://journals.asm.org/doi/pdf/10.1128/aem.65.5.2276-2278.1999

    Granted these articles don’t say specifically that high molecular weight silicones are biodegraded in the environment, but at least under specific conditions silicones are biodegradable. In waste water, they are degraded.

    And the research from Dow Corning isn’t necessarily inaccurate but it’s worth being a bit skeptical. They certainly wouldn’t publish data that says the product they sell is building up in the environment. However, they also aren’t going to wholly make up a biodegradation mechanism which is what the paper describes. So, I would be confident that under the right conditions silicones do degrade in the environment. 

    If you really want to immerse yourself in the subject here is a review paper published by people who are actual environmental scientists.   

    They say “…knowledge of siloxanes’ environmental behavior and fate is surprisingly scarce as compared to their material flows and economic significance.

    And conclude that “While there was much progress in organosiloxane analytics during the past decade, fundamental research on their fate in the various environmental compartments did not keep pace.

    Basically, we don’t know & more research is required.

  • Syl

    November 29, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    @Perry Thank you very much. It is sad to see so much disinformation. 

  • Paprik

    November 30, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Thanks @Perry. 

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