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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

SEARCH PRODUCTS

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, and 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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conditioner591 products
shampoo405 products
moisturizer279 products
hair treatment/serum273 products
body wash/cleanser260 products
facial moisturizer/treatment188 products
lipstick162 products
fragrance for women161 products
mask152 products
liquid hand soap133 products
recreational sunscreen115 products
hair styling aide108 products
foundation107 products
facial cleanser106 products
lip gloss100 products
exfoliant/scrub93 products
serums & essences93 products
hair color and bleaching61 products
mascara60 products
hand cream56 products
daily use with SPF56 products
around-eye cream54 products
styling gel/lotion52 products
antiperspirant/deodorant49 products
hair spray44 products
lip balm41 products
bronzer/highlighter40 products
fragrance for men38 products
toners/astringents35 products
lip balm with SPF35 products
body spray34 products
body firming lotion31 products
toothpaste28 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)28 products
eye shadow28 products
after sun product25 products
bubble bath24 products
baby lotion23 products
bar soap22 products
sunless tanning22 products
after shave20 products
BB cream20 products
setting powder/spray20 products
detangler19 products
makeup primer19 products
bath oil/salts/soak18 products
styling mousse/foam18 products
makeup remover18 products
anti-aging17 products
eye liner17 products
shaving cream15 products
hand sanitizer13 products
mouthwash12 products
lip plumper11 products
body oil11 products
baby sunscreen11 products
facial powder10 products
hair-loss treatment10 products
concealer9 products
baby shampoo9 products
8 products
baby wipes6 products
baby soap6 products
baby toothpaste6 products
beard care6 products
eye makeup remover5 products
lip liner5 products
foot moisturizer4 products
nail treatment4 products
skin fading/lightener4 products
cuticle treatment3 products
shaving cream (men's)3 products
blush3 products
baby oil3 products
tanning oil2 products
baby bubble bath2 products
beard cleanser2 products
beard oil2 products
muscle/joint soreness1 products
tooth whitening1 products
other eye makeup1 products
foot cleansing1 products
eyelash glue1 products
glitter1 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
hair removal waxes1 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 expected to be toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as medium human health priorityOpen scientific literature
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

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

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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

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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