IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem
Other ConcernsUse restrictions (moderate), Neurotoxicity (low), Endocrine disruption (low), and Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate)
Unacceptable: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient
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 skin conditions such as eczema. Benzalkonium chloride is found in many household disinfectants and cleaning supplies. Regular use of products containing antimicrobials such as benzalkonium chloride could leads to the development of resistant bacteria in homes and food processing facilities.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
HIGHAllergies & Immunotoxicity
LOWDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
|liquid hand soap||115 products|
|hand sanitizer||61 products|
|bar soap||25 products|
|body wash/cleanser||17 products|
|facial cleanser||12 products|
|hair treatment/serum||9 products|
|body cleansing wipes||9 products|
|hair styling aide||6 products|
|facial moisturizer/treatment||5 products|
|hand cream||5 products|
|eye makeup remover||5 products|
|makeup remover||3 products|
|baby wipes||3 products|
|brow liner||2 products|
|body powder||2 products|
|baby lotion||2 products|
|serums & essences||1 products|
|shaving cream (men's)||1 products|
|around-eye cream||1 products|
|after shave||1 products|
|lip balm||1 products|
|makeup removing wipes||1 products|
|sunless tanning||1 products|
|facial powder||1 products|
|styling mousse/foam||1 products|
|styling gel/lotion||1 products|
|daily use with SPF||1 products|
|Known human any toxicant or allergen||Open scientific literature|
|Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidence||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Human immune and respiratory toxicant or allergen - strong evidence||Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics|
|Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics||Canada - 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 qualifications||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Possible human any toxicant||Open scientific literature|
|Classified as a low human health priority||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells demonstrate neurotoxicity||Open scientific literature|
|One or more animal studies show any effects at moderate doses||Open scientific literature|
|Associated with endocrine disruption||Open scientific literature|
|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 product||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|2541 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical||NLM PubMed|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Not suspected to be persistent||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Not suspected to be bioaccumulative||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Not suspected to be an environmental toxin||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
- Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
- CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
- AOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
- 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.
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.
Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES
The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.
The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.