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Data: Fair

Benzyl Alcohol

  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products that are inhalable (e.g., sprays, powders) because of respiratory concerns.
  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use around mouth due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use on lips due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
  • 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), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), and Occupational hazards (high)

SYNONYMS

● A-TOLUENOL
● BENZENEMETHANOL
● BENZYL ALCOHOL
● BENZYLIC ALCOHOL
● PHENYLCARBINOL
● PHENYLMETHANOL
● PHENYLMETHYL ALCOHOL

Restricted

Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation


Benzyl alcohol is a naturally ocurring and synthetic ingredient used as solvent and preservative; has been associated with contact allergy.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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conditioner615 products
shampoo541 products
lipstick350 products
body wash/cleanser343 products
moisturizer336 products
hair treatment/serum313 products
facial moisturizer/treatment207 products
hair styling aide203 products
fragrance for women174 products
mask154 products
liquid hand soap149 products
lip gloss134 products
foundation125 products
facial cleanser117 products
serums & essences116 products
recreational sunscreen99 products
exfoliant/scrub98 products
hair spray84 products
styling gel/lotion79 products
antiperspirant/deodorant74 products
hand cream72 products
hair color and bleaching62 products
mascara62 products
around-eye cream60 products
body spray54 products
bronzer/highlighter49 products
fragrance for men44 products
lip balm42 products
daily use with SPF40 products
bar soap38 products
styling mousse/foam33 products
toothpaste30 products
toners/astringents28 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)28 products
eye shadow27 products
makeup primer26 products
detangler25 products
bubble bath25 products
lip balm with SPF25 products
baby lotion24 products
sunless tanning23 products
bath oil/salts/soak22 products
setting powder/spray22 products
after sun product19 products
body oil19 products
body firming lotion19 products
lip plumper18 products
concealer18 products
after shave17 products
eye liner15 products
nail polish15 products
makeup remover15 products
mouthwash15 products
hand sanitizer13 products
blush13 products
baby shampoo12 products
beard care12 products
shaving cream10 products
BB cream10 products
hair-loss treatment10 products
anti-aging9 products
baby wipes9 products
baby soap9 products
facial powder9 products
eye makeup remover8 products
8 products
shaving cream (men's)7 products
brow liner6 products
beard cleanser5 products
tanning oil4 products
skin fading/lightener4 products
baby oil4 products
foot moisturizer3 products
nail treatment3 products
lip liner3 products
baby sunscreen3 products
baby toothpaste3 products
beard oil3 products
cuticle treatment2 products
muscle/joint soreness2 products
depilatory2 products
tooth whitening2 products
hair removal waxes2 products
diaper cream1 products
nail glue1 products
hair relaxer1 products
other eye makeup1 products
foot cleansing1 products
eyelash glue1 products
baby bubble bath1 products
foot odor control1 products
makeup removing wipes1 products
body cleansing wipes1 products
glitter1 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
polish remover1 products
facial cleansing wipes1 products
baby powder1 products

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Known human any toxicant or allergenOpen scientific literature
Human any toxicant or allergen - strong evidenceOpen scientific literature
One or more human case studies show possible allergenic or allergenic effectsEWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature
Associated with immunotoxicity or allergiesNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Occupational hazards

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Recommended restricted in cosmetics - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Fragrance subject to restrictions: safe only within recommended use or concentration limitsn)International Fragrance Association Codes & Standards
Restricted in cosmetics - labeling requirement for allergensCosIng

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as medium human health priorityOpen scientific literature
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as toxic or harmfulCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Wildlife and environmental toxicityOpen scientific literature
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinOpen scientific literature

Data gaps

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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
5667 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeOpen scientific literature
Not suspected to be persistentOpen scientific literature

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

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Everything Added to Food
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • 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.
  • IFRA (International Fragrance Association). 2006. Codes and Standards.
  • 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/ .
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • 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.

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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