The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel (Panel) reviewed the safety of barium sulfate, which functions as an opacifying agent in cosmetic products and is being used at concentrations up to 0.99% and 37% in rinse-off and leave-on products, respectively. The Panel noted that the history of safe medical use of barium sulfate indicates no significant toxicity concerns relating to systemic exposure to this ingredient. Furthermore, the extensive clinical experience of the Panel, including the results of numerous patch tests, indicates that barium salts do not have the potential to induce sensitization. The Panel noted that since salts of sulfuric acid can be irritating to the skin, cosmetic products containing barium sulfate should be formulated to be nonirritating. The Panel concluded that barium sulfate is safe in cosmetics in the present practices of use and concentration described in this safety assessment when formulated to be nonirritating.
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