Cosmetic Ingredients Containing Tin (IV) Oxide

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Tin (IV) oxide functions as an abrasive, bulking, and opacifying ingredient in cosmetic products. It is available in a variety of forms and concentrations.

It is a white, off-white crystalline solid that sublimates upon heating and has a melting point of 1127°C. It is soluble in sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. It is also a starting material for the preparation of niobium and zinc-doped tin-oxidesolid-solution ceramics, which have applications in electronic devices.

Acute oral LD50 values for rats and mice have been reported at >20 g/kg. Subcutaneous exposure to tin(IV) oxide has resulted in a mild skin irritation. In a repeated-use patch test, a lipstick containing 0.5% tin(IV) oxide did not cause ocular irritation in 31 patients who applied the product daily for 4 weeks. In RIPTs, neither a lipgloss product containing 0.35% tin(IV) oxide nor another eye shadow containing 1.3% tin(IV) oxide caused skin irritation or allergic contact sensitization in 103 and 209 patients respectively.

In occupational settings, prolonged exposure to airborne tin(IV) oxide dust or fume may result in the benign form of pneumoconiosis known as stannosis. This condition, which develops after 3-5 years of exposure, results in small dense shadows in the X-ray picture of the lungs but does not result in fibrosis or impairment of pulmonary function.

The CIR Expert Panel found that tin(IV) oxide is safe in its present use at the concentrations employed in cosmetic products. No data on toxicokinetics, carcinogenicity or reproductive and developmental toxicity were provided to the Panel.