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Data: Good

Benzoic Acid

  • Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

Use restrictions (moderate) and Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low)

SYNONYMS

BENZENECARBOXYLIC ACID, BENZENEFORMIC ACID, BENZENEMETHANOIC ACID, BENZOIC ACID, BENZOIC ACID,, CARBOXYBENZENE, DRACYCLIC ACID, PHENYLCARBOXYLIC ACID, and PHENYLFORMIC ACID

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

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • LOW
    Cancer
  • LOW
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • MODERATE
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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shampoo152 products
conditioner117 products
facial cleanser84 products
mouthwash80 products
facial moisturizer/treatment78 products
moisturizer77 products
body wash/cleanser73 products
hair treatment/serum68 products
makeup remover47 products
mask43 products
serums & essences43 products
foundation41 products
concealer40 products
hand cream40 products
hair styling aide35 products
toners/astringents34 products
exfoliant/scrub33 products
liquid hand soap33 products
styling gel/lotion28 products
lipstick25 products
mascara24 products
lip gloss21 products
recreational sunscreen21 products
daily use with SPF20 products
toothpaste19 products
brow liner17 products
body firming lotion16 products
sunless tanning16 products
antiperspirant/deodorant15 products
baby wipes15 products
around-eye cream14 products
hair spray11 products
detangler10 products
setting powder/spray9 products
styling mousse/foam8 products
makeup primer8 products
baby shampoo7 products
eye makeup remover7 products
eye shadow7 products
facial powder6 products
eye liner6 products
blush6 products
baby lotion5 products
fragrance for women5 products
baby soap5 products
after sun product5 products
body spray5 products
beard cleanser5 products
hair color and bleaching4 products
after shave4 products
other eye makeup4 products
diaper cream3 products
anti-aging3 products
lip balm with SPF3 products
shaving cream3 products
bronzer/highlighter3 products
bar soap3 products
3 products
shaving cream (men's)2 products
baby sunscreen2 products
muscle/joint soreness2 products
foot moisturizer1 products
tooth whitening1 products
cuticle treatment1 products
bath oil/salts/soak1 products
nail treatment1 products
hair-loss treatment1 products
oil controller1 products
skin fading/lightener1 products
bubble bath1 products
BB cream1 products
lip plumper1 products
tanning oil1 products
beard care1 products
baby bubble bath1 products
beard oil1 products
nail polish1 products
baby toothpaste1 products

Use restrictions

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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)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicityScorecard.org Toxicity Information
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 gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Insufficient data to determine safetyEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
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
16719 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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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

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - anyCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not likely to be carcinogenic in humansEPA Water Disinfection By-Products Carcinogenicity
Limited or incomplete evidence of cancer according to safety/hazard data – government assessment cannot classify as human carcinogen due to data gapsEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
  • Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986-2005 guidelines.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • 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.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2006. EPA Water Disinfection By-Products with Carcinogenicity Estimates. Last updated: 10 April 2006.

Understanding scores

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

Hazard score

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.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

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