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Data: Limited

  • Other Concerns
  • Functions
  • About the Chemical
  • Synonyms
  • Use restrictions (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high), and Occupational hazards (high)


Cancer concern is LOW

Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity

Developmental & reproductive toxicity concern is LOW

Allergies & Immunotoxicity

Allergies & immunotoxicity concern is LOW

Products with this Ingredient

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foundation1272 products
eye shadow990 products
lipstick815 products
concealer661 products
facial moisturizer/treatment456 products
mask428 products
bronzer/highlighter422 products
moisturizer417 products
serums & essences358 products
conditioner346 products
eye liner340 products
moisturizer with SPF338 products
blush284 products
lip gloss257 products
shampoo253 products
facial cleanser230 products
beach & sport sunscreen223 products
mascara223 products
body wash/cleanser194 products
brow liner179 products
facial powder155 products
makeup primer153 products
hair styling aide115 products
exfoliant/scrub105 products
makeup remover102 products
lip balm102 products
hair treatment/serum99 products
toners/astringents90 products
around-eye cream88 products
hair color and bleaching84 products
hand cream83 products
styling gel/lotion75 products
liquid hand soap75 products
body firming lotion73 products
lip liner61 products
BB cream55 products
shaving cream41 products
glitter33 products
baby shampoo28 products
anti-aging26 products
sunless tanning26 products
hair spray26 products
bubble bath24 products
CC cream23 products
antiperspirant/deodorant23 products
baby soap23 products
baby lotion22 products
eyelash glue22 products
detangler21 products
after shave20 products
foot moisturizer20 products
baby wipes20 products
styling mousse/foam17 products
shaving cream (men's)17 products
lip plumper17 products
other eye makeup17 products
eye makeup remover16 products
baby sunscreen15 products
body spray13 products
beard care13 products
after sun product12 products
oil controller12 products
diaper cream10 products
bath oil/salts/soak8 products
lip balm with SPF8 products
hand sanitizer8 products
7 products
bar soap6 products
beard cleanser6 products
makeup with SPF6 products
baby bubble bath6 products
nail treatment5 products
hair relaxer5 products
body oil5 products
fragrance for women5 products
nail polish5 products
foot cleansing4 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)4 products
fragrance for men3 products
damaged skin treatment3 products
beard oil2 products
cuticle treatment2 products
pore strips2 products
baby oil1 products
body powder1 products
nail glue1 products
vapor rubs1 products
foot odor control1 products
depilatory1 products
muscle/joint soreness1 products
tanning oil1 products
polish remover1 products
other men's products1 products
body art1 products

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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Concern Reference
Classified as irritantCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

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
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in cosmetics (concentration limit)Japan's Standards for Cosmetics

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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Concern Reference
Can have adverse effects on the central and peripheral nervous systems.National Library of Medicine, HazMap database
Classified as toxic or harmfulCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling
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


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Concern Reference
Phenoxyethanol is linked to allergic contact uritica and dermatitis.Heidary N, Cohen DE Hypersensitivity reactions to vaccine components. Dermatitis. 2005 Sep;16(3):115-20.

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


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Concern Reference
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List


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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 persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data Sources

  • 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.
  • Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
  • National Library of Medicine, HazMap database
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • Heidary N, Cohen DE Hypersensitivity reactions to vaccine components. Dermatitis. 2005 Sep;16(3):115-20.
  • 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.

About this Ingredient's Score Range

  • 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.


EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings below indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer


Beyond providing Skin Deep® as an educational tool for consumers, EWG offers its EWG VERIFIED™ mark as a quick and easily identifiable way of conveying personal care products that meet EWG's strict health criteria. Before a company can use EWG VERIFIED™ on such products, the company must show that it fully discloses the products' ingredients on their labels or packaging, they do not contain EWG ingredients of concern, and are made with good manufacturing practices, among other criteria. Note that EWG receives licensing fees from all EWG VERIFIED™ member companies that help to support the important work we do. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer