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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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foundation958 products
eye shadow724 products
lipstick573 products
concealer442 products
facial moisturizer/treatment399 products
mask383 products
moisturizer374 products
moisturizer with SPF357 products
bronzer/highlighter332 products
serums & essences319 products
conditioner286 products
beach & sport sunscreen281 products
eye liner263 products
shampoo211 products
blush190 products
facial cleanser185 products
body wash/cleanser180 products
mascara168 products
lip gloss165 products
brow liner139 products
facial powder113 products
makeup primer109 products
lip balm89 products
makeup remover84 products
hair treatment/serum81 products
hair styling aide79 products
exfoliant/scrub78 products
body firming lotion78 products
around-eye cream75 products
hair color and bleaching69 products
toners/astringents64 products
hand cream64 products
styling gel/lotion62 products
lip liner61 products
liquid hand soap58 products
BB cream58 products
shaving cream36 products
makeup with SPF34 products
anti-aging28 products
baby sunscreen28 products
Facial Sun Care25 products
sunless tanning24 products
CC cream24 products
antiperspirant/deodorant23 products
baby shampoo23 products
baby soap22 products
baby wipes21 products
hair spray21 products
bubble bath19 products
detangler19 products
baby lotion18 products
foot moisturizer16 products
other eye makeup16 products
lip plumper16 products
after shave15 products
glitter15 products
shaving cream (men's)15 products
styling mousse/foam14 products
body spray12 products
oil controller12 products
eye makeup remover11 products
after sun product9 products
lip balm with SPF9 products
diaper cream8 products
bath oil/salts/soak7 products
beard care7 products
baby bubble bath6 products
eyelash glue6 products
nail treatment5 products
Oils & Serums4 products
body oil4 products
bar soap4 products
foot cleansing3 products
hand sanitizer3 products
Tanning Sprays2 products
hair relaxer2 products
beard oil2 products
pore strips2 products
muscle/joint soreness2 products
nail polish2 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
other men's products1 products
beard cleanser1 products
foot odor control1 products
tanning oil1 products
baby oil1 products
vapor rubs1 products
depilatory1 products
polish remover1 products
nail glue1 products
skin fading/lightener1 products
cuticle treatment1 products
body powder1 products
fragrance for men1 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)1 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