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Prop 65 Not Cool with Aloe Vera Extract

February 8, 2016 | Contact Author | By: Nicole Urbanowicz
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Keywords: cosmetics regulation | Proposition 65 | California | aloe vera | goldenseal

Abstract: The state of California intends to list aloe vera, whole leaf extract and goldenseal root powder as known to cause cancer under Proposition 65.

Aloe vera, whole leaf extract is no longer cool with the state of California as far as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, or Proposition 65, is concerned.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said it intends to list aloe vera, whole leaf extract and goldenseal root powder as known to the state to cause cancer under Proposition 65.

Aloe vera, whole leaf extract consists of the liquid portion of the aloe vera leaf and is a natural constituent of the aloe barbadensis Millerplant. Goldenseal root powder is a natural constituent of the goldenseal plant (Hydrastis Canadensis).

IARC has published on its website a list entitled “Agents classified by the IARC Monographs, Volumes 1-112" (IARC, 2015). It concluded that aloe vera, whole leaf extract, and goldenseal root powder are each classified in Group 2B (the agent is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”), and that there is “sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals” for each (Grosse et al., 2013). 

Read more in C&T: Cosmetic Ingredient and Regulatory Update: The Ugly, the Good and the Bad 

What exactly is on the list?

California defines the whole leaf extract of aloe vera as the same as what is commonly referred to as whole leaf aloe vera juice or aloe juice. Whole leaf extract of aloe vera is the liquid portion of the aloe vera leaf (ex., what remains after removal of fibrous material, such as lignified plant fibers), and is a natural constituent of the Aloe barbadensis Millerplant. It noted that aloe vera whole leaf extract is not the same as aloe vera decolorized whole leaf extract, aloe vera gel, aloe vera gel extract, or Aloe vera latex, which would not be covered by this proposed listing.

As far as Prop 65 is concerned, goldenseal is also known as Hydrastis Canadensis, orangeroot, Indian turmeric, and curcuma, but it should not be confused with turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn.). Goldenseal root powder is the powdered dried roots and underground stems of goldenseal plants. Goldenseal root powder is a natural constituent of the goldenseal plant.

Prop 65 Scrutiny

A number of cosmetic ingredients have come under the watchful scrutiny of the state of California's OEHHA and Prop 65; however the cosmetics industry recently thwarted a large attack launched against it after a California court determined that dangerous exposure claims concerning the widely used ingredient titanium dioxide lacked merit. Read more of the story in C&T