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Fair

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BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE


image source: PubChem
Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
Cancer
 
 
Developmental &
reproductive toxicity
 
 
 
Other LOW concerns: Data gaps

About BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE: Biocide, preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies, benzalkonium chloride is a sensitizer especially dangerous for people with asthma or sk ... read more

Function(s): Antimicrobial Agent; Antistatic Agent; Cosmetic Biocide; Deodorant Agent; Surfactant -Suspending Agent; PRESERVATIVE

Synoym(s): ALKYL DIMETHYL BENZYL AMMONIUM CHLORIDE; BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE SOLUTION; QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS, BENZYLCOCO ALKYLDIMETHYL, CHLORIDES; ALKYL DIMETHYLBENZYL AMMONIUM CHLORIDE; ALKYLDIMETHYL (PHENYLMETHYL) QUATERNARY AMMONIUM CHLORIDES; AMMONYX; ARQUAD DMMCB-75; BARQUAT MB-50; BAYCLEAN; BENIROL; BENZALKONIUM A

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Concern Reference
Human immune and respiratory toxicant or allergen - strong evidence (only for )Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidenceCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergiesNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Use restrictions

Concern Reference
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in some types of cosmetics (concentration limit)Japan's Standards for Cosmetics
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Ecotoxicology

Concern Reference
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

Concern Reference
Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in productCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
2,541 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical see search results ->NLM PubMed

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Concern Reference
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Concern Reference
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as a low human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data Sources

AOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
European Commission. 2013. Cosing, the European Commission database with information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. Accessed on March 1, 2013 at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/ .
Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.

About the ratings

EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings below indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer