Other ConcernsUse restrictions (high), Endocrine disruption (high), and Biochemical or cellular level changes (moderate)
Unacceptable: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient
Isobutylparaben is in the parabens family of preservatives used by the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care product industries. Parabens mimic estrogen, are potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors, and were found in the breast cancer tumors of 19 of 20 women studied (Darbre 2004). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tested urine from a group of 2,548 Americans over the age of 6 and found parabens in over 99% of samples (Calafat 2010). Isobutylparaben is closely related to butylparaben, a compound considered to be a potential human endocrine system disruptor by the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption (EU 2007). Isobutylparaben appears to be more strongly estrogenic than butylparaben (Darbre 2002, Vo 2010), but receives a lower hazard score in Skin Deep because of the limited amount of toxicological research on this chemical. Subsequent research and agency assessments may find isobutylparaben to be as or more hazardous to the endocrine system than butylparaben.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
MODERATEAllergies & Immunotoxicity
MODERATEDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
|facial cleanser||4 products|
|eye liner||4 products|
|sunless tanning||3 products|
|facial moisturizer/treatment||2 products|
|hair treatment/serum||2 products|
|lip gloss||2 products|
|setting powder/spray||1 products|
|damaged skin treatment||1 products|
|polish remover||1 products|
|lip balm with SPF||1 products|
|recreational sunscreen||1 products|
|hair styling aide||1 products|
|body powder||1 products|
|lip balm||1 products|
|styling gel/lotion||1 products|
|around-eye cream||1 products|
|foot moisturizer||1 products|
|Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmetics||European Union - Banned or Restricted in Cosmetics|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - any||Open scientific literature|
|Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - any||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - any||Open scientific literature|
|Known human any disruptor||Open scientific literature|
|Human endocrine disruptor - strong evidence||European Commission on Endocrine Disruption|
|Limited evidence of endocrine disruption||Open scientific literature|
|One or more studies show significant wildlife and the environment disruption||European Commission on Endocrine Disruption|
|One or more studies show weak endocrine disruption||EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature|
|One or more animal studies show endocrine disruption at moderate doses||Open scientific literature|
|One or more studies show weak endocrine disruption||Open scientific literature|
|One or more animal studies show endocrine disruption at high doses||Open scientific literature|
|Possible human reproductive or developmental toxin||Open scientific literature|
|One or more animal studies show any effects at very low doses||Open scientific literature|
|Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidence||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|One or more human case studies show possible immune or allergenic effects||Open scientific literature|
Biochemical or cellular level changes
|Interferes with gene expresion||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|
|Safety assessment was based on related chemical||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|29 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical||NLM PubMed|
|Not suspected to be an environmental toxin||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Not suspected to be persistent||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Not suspected to be bioaccumulative||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
Multiple, additive exposure sources
|Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food||FDA Everything Added to Food|
|Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - any||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
- EC (European Commission of the European Union). 1999-2006. Enterprise Directorate-General Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics. The rules governing cosmetic products in the European Union, Volume 1, "Cosmetics legislation."
- 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.
- EU (European Union)- Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters 2007. Commision on endocrin disruption requested by the European Parliament in 1998.
- EWG Assessment of Open Scientific Literature
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
- 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.
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.