Undiluted shellac was not a skin irritant in volunteers, but mascara containing low concentrations produced slight skin irritation in a small proportion of subjects tested, and slight eye irritation in rabbits. There is a report of shellac causing skin allergy in man. In laboratory animals it was of low acute toxicity on ingestion or skin application, although when instilled into the lungs of rabbits it caused severe damage. Two cases of lung fibrosis, one of which also involved a widespread foreign body reaction in the lungs, have been described following occupational exposure. In one study, repeated oral administration to rats caused kidney and intestinal damage, but another study revealed no averse effects at similar dose levels. No evidence of reproductive toxicity was seen in rats treated orally. In bacteria, mutagenicity assays (including the Ames test) were negative, although in one assay for DNA damage equivocal results were obtained with one of two grades of shellac.

Date of Publication: 1988

Number of Pages: 6

CAS Number*: 9000-59-3

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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