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Data: Good

Phenol

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

SEARCH PRODUCTS

Other Concerns

Use restrictions (high), Persistence and bioaccumulation (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (high), Ecotoxicology (low), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (low), and Occupational hazards (high)

SYNONYMS

BENZENOL, CARBOLIC ACID, HYDROXYBENZENE, LIQUID PHENOL, OXYBENZENE, PHENOL, PHENOL,, and PHENYL ALCOHOL

Restricted

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


Phenol is an aromatic compound. In the United States, Phenol may be used as an active ingredient in OTC drug products. When used as an active drug ingredient, the established name is Phenol.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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lip balm5 products
toners/astringents2 products
moisturizer1 products
lip balm with SPF1 products
facial moisturizer/treatment1 products
eyelash glue1 products

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Known human respiratory toxicantEPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at low dosesEPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide Ingredients
Classified as toxic or harmfulCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicityScorecard.org Toxicity Information
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient)EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs
Classified as a low human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmeticsCanada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients
Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmeticsCosIng
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in cosmetics (concentration limit)Japan's Standards for Cosmetics

Occupational hazards

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of occupational hazardsCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
Single case study detailing occupational hazardsNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlifeEmerging PBTs from peer-reviewed literature
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of developmental toxicityScorecard.org Toxicity Information

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Wildlife and environmental toxicityEPA Clean Water Act - Priority Pollutants
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Miscellaneous

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Occupational hazards related to handlingCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Insufficient data to determine safetyEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
31275 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
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)
Limited or incomplete evidence of cancer according to safety/hazard data – government assessment cannot classify as human carcinogen due to data gapsInt'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens

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
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2005. Office of Air. The 112(b)1 Hazardous Air Pollutants List (as modified). Last modified: 12 Dec 2005.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1987 & 2005. Office of Pesticide Programs. Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients in Pesticide Products - Categorized List of Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients.
  • 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.
  • ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
  • 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/ .
  • Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • Emerging PBTs from peer-reviewed literature
  • 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.
  • IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). 2008. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenicity to Humans, as evaluated in IARC Monographs Volumes 1-99 (a total of 935 agents, mixtures and exposures).
  • 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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