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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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foundation1657 products
eye shadow1139 products
lipstick937 products
concealer761 products
facial moisturizer/treatment608 products
moisturizer577 products
mask541 products
conditioner533 products
bronzer/highlighter520 products
serums & essences470 products
moisturizer with SPF444 products
shampoo382 products
eye liner376 products
facial cleanser341 products
blush333 products
lip gloss321 products
mascara295 products
body wash/cleanser282 products
beach & sport sunscreen271 products
brow liner250 products
hair styling aide228 products
makeup primer217 products
hair treatment/serum198 products
exfoliant/scrub185 products
facial powder181 products
body firming lotion173 products
makeup remover133 products
lip balm133 products
around-eye cream131 products
toners/astringents126 products
hand cream124 products
styling gel/lotion117 products
liquid hand soap102 products
setting powder/spray90 products
hair color and bleaching87 products
BB cream75 products
lip liner73 products
shaving cream57 products
anti-aging52 products
baby lotion46 products
hair spray44 products
detangler44 products
baby shampoo44 products
baby wipes44 products
sunless tanning42 products
42 products
glitter35 products
styling mousse/foam33 products
foot moisturizer32 products
baby soap31 products
after sun product31 products
CC cream30 products
antiperspirant/deodorant29 products
lip plumper29 products
bubble bath28 products
baby sunscreen27 products
after shave25 products
eye makeup remover25 products
shaving cream (men's)25 products
beard care23 products
eyelash glue22 products
body spray17 products
other eye makeup17 products
lip balm with SPF15 products
oil controller12 products
bath oil/salts/soak11 products
diaper cream10 products
body oil10 products
bar soap9 products
foot cleansing8 products
baby bubble bath8 products
hand sanitizer8 products
beard cleanser8 products
pore strips7 products
nail treatment6 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)6 products
hair relaxer6 products
damaged skin treatment6 products
fragrance for women5 products
nail polish5 products
foot odor control3 products
cuticle treatment3 products
baby oil3 products
fragrance for men3 products
tanning oil3 products
depilatory2 products
muscle/joint soreness2 products
beard oil2 products
hair-loss treatment1 products
body powder1 products
polish remover1 products
nail glue1 products
other men's products1 products
vapor rubs1 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