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PHENOXYETHANOL


image source: PubChem
Health Concerns of the Ingredient:
Overall Hazard
 
 
Cancer
 
 
Developmental &
reproductive toxicity
 
 
 

About PHENOXYETHANOL: Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in cosmetics and personal care products.

Function(s): Fragrance Ingredient; Preservative

Synonym(s): 2-HYDROXYETHYL PHENYL ETHER; 2-PHENOXY- ETHANOL; 2-PHENOXYETHANOL; 2-PHENOXYETHYL ALCOHOL; ETHANOL, 2-PHENOXY-; ETHANOL, 2PHENOXY; ETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOPHENYL ETHER; PHENOXYTOL; 1-HYDROXY-2-PHENOXYETHANE; 2-FENOXYETHANOL (CZECH) ; 2-PHENOXYETHANOL

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

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of skin and immune system toxicity or allergiesHeidary N, Cohen DE

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Concern Reference
Limited evidence of nervous toxicityNational Library of Medicine, HazMap database
Classified as toxic or harmful (only for products for use around the mouth; products for use on the lips)European Union - Classification & Labelling
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

Occupational hazards

Concern Reference
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Concern Reference
Classified as irritantEuropean Union - Classification & Labelling

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
234 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical see search results ->NLM PubMed

Ecotoxicology

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

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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

Data Sources

CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
CPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
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/ .
Heidary N, Cohen DE. Hypersensitivity reactions to vaccine components. Dermatitis. 2005 Sep;16(3):115-20.
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.
National Library of Medicine, HazMap database. http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/category-details?id=1901

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