What is BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE (BHA)
BHA is a commonly used chemical preservative and antioxidant used in many cosmetic and skincare products ranging from body lotions, oils, makeup bases, soaps, deodorants, etc. Although pronounced harmless, it has many implications with long-term use. According to a CIR safety research paper, it was found that BHA could have a profound effect on prostaglandin biosynthesis in vivo. Research suggests that BHA may harm the body due to its potential carcinogenic properties. Studies conducted on animals have shown that BHA can lead to the development of tumors, particularly in the forestomach. Although animal studies don't always directly translate to human health, these findings have raised concerns about the compound's safety.
The U.S. National Toxicology Program classifies BHA as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" based on animal research. Additionally, the European Union has imposed restrictions on its use in cosmetics. While BHA is not banned outright, it is limited in concentration. Therefore, consumers who wish to minimize their exposure to BHA may consider reading product labels and opting for items that do not contain this ingredient or have it listed near the end, indicating lower concentrations.
[Source: National Toxicology Program (NTP), "Report on Carcinogens, Fourteenth Edition," ntp.niehs.nih.gov, September 13, 2021]