Substitution of  Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (endocrine disruptor and toxic for reproduction) used in citrus waxing




General Section



Manufacture of food products





Product category

plant protection products


Wax layer on citrus fruit


A study was carried out within the scope of a project carried out by CCOO for the prevention of toxic hazards for reproduction, pregcy and breast-feeding at the workplace. The study analyzed several chemicals used during the storage, distribution and handling of citrus.

Union experts detected that the waxing compound used for oranges contained Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, (endocrine disruptor and toxic for reproduction). The product was eventually substituted by an alternative wax with a similar composition containing methyl silicone resin.

Substituted substances


CAS No. 556-67-2 EC No. 209-136-7 Index No. 014-018-00-1

Chemical group


Classification: hazard statements

H361f Suspected of damaging fertility
H410 Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects

Other adverse effects

The substance is: endocrine disruptor (SIN List), endocrine disruptor cat. 1 (EU EDC database) as listed in the Substance Database according to SUBSPORT Screening Criteria (SDSC).

Alternative Substances

Methyl silicone resins

CAS No. 9016-00-6 EC No. Index No.

Chemical group


Reliability of information

Evidence of implementation: there is evidence that the solution was implemented and in use at time of publication

Reason substitution


Hazard Assessment

Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane is an endocrine disruptor (according to SIN List), and endocrine disruptor cat. 1 (according to EU EDC database).

It is toxic for reproduction: risk of impaired fertility (R62).

Because of these two important risks, formaldehyde is listed in the hazardous Substance Database according to SUBSPORT Screening Criteria (SDSC).

Alternative substance has no risks.

Description of Substitution

In 2010 regional trade union occupational health departments from Aragon, Cantabria, Catalonia, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia, coordinated by ISTAS, carried out the project Reprotox aimed at preventive reproductive, pregcy and nursing risks at the workplace.

As part of the project activities the CCOO?s occupational health and safety department in Valencia (Spain), carried out an investigation on working conditions in companies involved in storing, distribution and handling of citrus fruit, the prevailing sector in the region. Chemical hazards, often disregarded in previous assessments in the sector, were especially targeted.

Research unveiled a number of toxic chemicals hazardous to human health, specifically endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and toxic for reproduction used as fungicides and orange waxing compounds.
The report with the information compiled during a visit to a citrus plant also included alternative for the partial/total elimination of fungicides. The alternatives included temperature control, radiation and biological control systems. The trade union also made a proposal several chemical alternatives to toxic products. The company eventually accepted the substitution of a waxing compound that contained octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (endocrine disruptor and toxic for reproduction) by a less harmful product.

The alternative product (Citrosol A) provided by the same manufacturer is very similar, only octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane is replaced by methyl silicone.

Other three actions were taken along with substitution:
?    Review of risk assessments to include a number of products that affected pregcy and an account of safe and harmless jobs
?    Development of an action plan for pregt and breastfeeding workers
?    Improvements in the waxing line, e.g.: setting up more powerful drying machines to avoid workers? contact with chemicals

Case/substitution evaluation

Occupational risks reduced significantly, especially those associated with endocrine disruptors and toxics for reproduction.

State of implementation

Full capacity

Date and place of implementation

2011 Spain

Availability ofAlternative

On the market


Type of information supplier



Other solutions

The trade union suggested substitution by similar products, e.g.: TEYCER D-C GL, a product commonly used in the food and agriculture industry as a waxing compound for citrus.

Another option was the used of low-hazard fungicides. Three active p

Further information

Product Guide (PDF)

Date, reviewed

February 27, 2020