Polihexanide is an antibacterial and algaecide. It is used in swimming pools and spas to control algae, as a disinfectant in veterinary products, and as a sanitiser for milk handling equipment.
Status: review in progress
In July 2005 the APVMA began a review of polihexanide because of human health concerns. This action was based on advice from the Office of Chemical Safety and Environmental Health (OCSEH) which identified polihexanide as a potential carcinogen.
Based on a comprehensive toxicological assessment, the OCSEH identified polihexanide as a potential carcinogen in rodents but only at high exposure levels which are unlikely to be encountered in occupational or public settings.
The OCSEH did not regard its carcinogenicity in rodents at high doses as a barrier to continuing registration of products containing polihexanide. For more information, see the Polihexanide Carcinogenicity Hazard Assessment Report (June 2011) (PDF, 526kb) | (RTF, 1.22Mb).
A number of other toxicological and occupational exposure matters remain to be addressed, however this report is being published first as the carcinogenic potential was originally considered a priority that needed to be addressed immediately.
Once completed, the APVMA will publish an assessment of the additional toxicological and any occupational health and safety concerns in a preliminary review findings report.
|Carcinogenicity Hazard Assessment (PDF, 526kb) | (RTF, 1.22Mb)||June 2011|
For more information contact:
Phone: +61 2 6210 4749
Fax: +61 2 6210 4776
Search the PUBCRIS database for registered products that contain polihexanide.
Note: In the Active Constituent 1 field enter polihexanide.
APVMA polihexanide archive
|Review Scope Document (PDF, 437kb)||Jul 2005|
|Gazette Notice: reconsideration of polihexanide||Aug 2005|