Last update Dec. 4, 2020
Very High Risk
Derived from phenol with laxative properties due to direct irritation through contact with the intestinal mucosa.
Since the last update, we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.
Although intestinal absorption is only 15% (PubChem 2017), it may transfer into breastmilk and could cause diarrhoea and other intestinal problems in the infant (PubChem 2017).
Carcinogenic in animals and probable carcinogenic (2B) in humans (WHO 2000, EMA 1997).
It has been withdrawn from sale in most countries.
Bulking, osmotic, emollient, or lubricating laxatives are safer.
In order to avoid or treat constipation, a balanced diet, rich in fibre, is essential,
with plenty of fluids and exercise.
RISK LEVEL OF WORKPLACE EXPOSURE
According to international regulations (INSHT 2017 and 2008, EC Regulation 2008), all potentially polluting or health-damaging products must be labelled with a safety data sheet containing the so-called risk phrases (formerly known as R phrases, currently H phrases for hazard) or prudence (P phrases).
There are two phrases that are specifically related to breastfeeding:
- H362 (formerly R64): "It can harm children fed with breastmilk"
- P263: "Avoid contact during pregnancy and breastfeeding”.
Five other phrases that should be considered during breastfeeding are related to the carcinogenic, mutagenic or cumulative effects of a product:
- H350 (formerly R45 and R49): "May cause cancer"
- H351 (formerly R40): "Possible carcinogenic effects"
- H370 (ant. R39): "Causes damage to organs”
- H371 (ant. R68): "May cause damage to organs”
- H372 (ant R48): "Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure”
- H373 (ant. R33): "May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
If any of these five phrases appears in the safety data sheet of an industrial product, the breastfeeding mother must be removed from her workplace. Phenolphthalein has phrase H350 (Merck 2018).
In addition, according to current European legislation (EC Regulation 2008), when a product is carcinogenic and mutagenic, breastfeeding working mothers should not be exposed to mixtures, be they of solids, liquids or gases, with concentration limits higher than 0.3%.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
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