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Data: Fair

Polysorbate 20

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low) and Contamination concerns (high)

SYNONYMS

MONODODECANOATE POLY(OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) DERIVS. SORBITAN, POLY(OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) DERIVS. SORBITAN, MONODODECANOATE, POLYOXYETHYLENE (20) SORBITAN MONOLAURATE, POLYOXYETHYLENE SORBITAN MONOLAURATE, POLYSORBATE 20, POLYSORBATE-20, POYLSORBATE-20, SORBIMACROGOL LAURATE 300, SORBITAN, MONODODECANOATE, POLY(OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) DERIVS., and TWEEN-20

Polysorbate 20 (Tween 20) is a surfactant and emulsifier used in cleaners and personal care products.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • LOW
    Cancer
  • LOW
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reingredientive Toxicity
  • LOW
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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facial moisturizer/treatment234 products
shampoo214 products
serums & essences202 products
mask196 products
body wash/cleanser188 products
facial cleanser150 products
foundation145 products
conditioner127 products
toners/astringents122 products
hair treatment/serum115 products
hair styling aide114 products
moisturizer111 products
liquid hand soap110 products
exfoliant/scrub109 products
styling gel/lotion89 products
daily use with SPF81 products
around-eye cream74 products
bronzer/highlighter71 products
makeup remover69 products
body spray54 products
recreational sunscreen45 products
baby wipes44 products
hand sanitizer42 products
styling mousse/foam40 products
after sun product37 products
hair spray36 products
CC cream36 products
makeup primer35 products
detangler32 products
setting powder/spray32 products
sunless tanning31 products
mouthwash30 products
anti-aging29 products
eye shadow28 products
lipstick26 products
mascara25 products
bath oil/salts/soak24 products
concealer24 products
antiperspirant/deodorant21 products
baby lotion19 products
eye liner18 products
hand cream18 products
BB cream17 products
blush15 products
brow liner15 products
after shave14 products
body firming lotion14 products
foot cleansing13 products
bubble bath13 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)12 products
foot moisturizer11 products
shaving cream10 products
facial powder9 products
9 products
eye makeup remover7 products
hair color and bleaching7 products
hair-loss treatment6 products
baby shampoo6 products
foot odor control6 products
muscle/joint soreness5 products
baby bubble bath5 products
baby sunscreen5 products
beard care5 products
shaving cream (men's)4 products
baby soap4 products
polish remover4 products
damaged skin treatment4 products
nail treatment3 products
tanning oil3 products
tooth whitening3 products
body oil3 products
cuticle treatment3 products
beard cleanser3 products
skin fading/lightener2 products
other eye makeup2 products
lip balm2 products
oil controller1 products
hair relaxer1 products
fragrance for women1 products
depilatory1 products
bar soap1 products
lip gloss1 products
glitter1 products
lip plumper1 products
eyelash glue1 products
baby oil1 products
baby powder1 products
lip liner1 products

Contamination concerns

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Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicityScorecard.org Toxicity Information
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

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
2265 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Food Additive Status
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Everything Added to Food

Informational

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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

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
  • ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • 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. http://www.pubmed.gov.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
  • 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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