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BENZOIC ACID


image source: PubChem
Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
Cancer
 
 
Developmental &
reproductive toxicity
 
 
Allergies & immunotoxicity
 
 
Other LOW concerns: Data gaps, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

About BENZOIC ACID: Benzoic acid is a naturally occurring and synthetically produced substance; it is used in food and cosmetics as a preservative.

This ingredient may be derived from animals. From PETA's Caring Consumer: In almost all vertebrates and in berries. Used as a preservative in mouthwashes, deodorants, creams, aftershave lotions, etc. Alternatives: cranberries, gum benzoin (tincture) from the aromatic balsam ... read more

Possible impurity in: see all ingredients | products

Function(s): Fragrance Ingredient; pH Adjuster; Preservative; BULKING; MASKING

Synonym(s): BENZENECARBOXYLIC ACID; BENZENEFORMIC ACID; BENZENEMETHANOIC ACID; BENZOIC ACID,; CARBOXYBENZENE; DRACYCLIC ACID; PHENYLCARBOXYLIC ACID; PHENYLFORMIC ACID; ACIDE BENZOIQUE (FRENCH) ; ACIDO BENZOICO (ITALIAN) ; BENZENECARBOXYLIC ACID

Use restrictions

Concern Reference
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in 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

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicityHarvell, J, Bason M, Maibach H
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

Ecotoxicology

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

Cancer

Concern Reference
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogenEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
Not likely to be carcinogenic in humansEPA Water Disinfection By-Products Carcinogenicity

Multiple, additive exposure sources

Concern Reference
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Everything Added to Food

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Concern Reference
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment 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
Insufficient data to determine safetyEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
16,719 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical see search results ->NLM PubMed

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.
EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2006. EPA Water Disinfection By-Products with Carcinogenicity Estimates. Last updated: 10 April 2006.
EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986-2005 guidelines.
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/ .
FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Harvell, J, Bason M, Maibach H. 1994. Contact Urticaria and its Mechanisms. Food Chemistry and Toxicology 32(2): 103-112. (Table 2: Substances identified as capable of causing contact urticaria)., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
IFRA (International Fragrance Assocication). 2010. IFRA Fragrance Ingredient List based on 2008 Use Survey. Accessed online 01/04/2010: http://www.ifraorg.org/Home/News/Latest-News/page.aspx/66?xf_itemId=43&xf_selectionDatapartId=25
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). 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