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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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foundation946 products
eye shadow745 products
lipstick596 products
concealer467 products
mask389 products
facial moisturizer/treatment389 products
moisturizer372 products
bronzer/highlighter356 products
moisturizer with SPF334 products
serums & essences329 products
conditioner288 products
eye liner277 products
beach & sport sunscreen224 products
shampoo217 products
blush198 products
facial cleanser192 products
body wash/cleanser180 products
lip gloss173 products
mascara172 products
brow liner147 products
facial powder123 products
makeup primer121 products
lip balm89 products
makeup remover85 products
exfoliant/scrub81 products
hair treatment/serum80 products
hair styling aide80 products
hair color and bleaching76 products
around-eye cream76 products
toners/astringents70 products
hand cream61 products
styling gel/lotion61 products
lip liner61 products
liquid hand soap60 products
body firming lotion58 products
BB cream51 products
shaving cream38 products
anti-aging28 products
sunless tanning25 products
baby shampoo25 products
baby soap23 products
antiperspirant/deodorant23 products
CC cream23 products
baby wipes21 products
bubble bath21 products
hair spray21 products
detangler21 products
baby lotion20 products
after shave16 products
foot moisturizer16 products
other eye makeup16 products
glitter15 products
shaving cream (men's)15 products
baby sunscreen15 products
lip plumper15 products
styling mousse/foam14 products
body spray13 products
oil controller12 products
eye makeup remover12 products
after sun product8 products
bath oil/salts/soak8 products
lip balm with SPF8 products
diaper cream8 products
beard care7 products
baby bubble bath6 products
eyelash glue6 products
nail treatment5 products
hair relaxer5 products
foot cleansing4 products
body oil4 products
bar soap4 products
makeup with SPF3 products
hand sanitizer3 products
muscle/joint soreness2 products
nail polish2 products
beard oil2 products
pore strips2 products
foot odor control1 products
tanning oil1 products
baby oil1 products
vapor rubs1 products
depilatory1 products
body art1 products
polish remover1 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
other men's products1 products
beard cleanser1 products
skin fading/lightener1 products
cuticle treatment1 products
body powder1 products
fragrance for men1 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)1 products
nail glue1 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