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Data: Fair

Quaternium 15 (Formaldehyde Releaser)

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

Use restrictions (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (moderate), and Contamination concerns (high)

SYNONYMS

1-(3-CHLORO-2-PROPENYL)- 3,5,7-TRIAZA-1-AZONIATRICYCLO[3.3.1.1]DECANE, 1-(3-CHLORO-2-PROPENYL)-3,5,7-TRIAZA-1-AZONIATRICYCLO[3.3.1.1]DECANE CHLORIDE, 1-(3-CHLOROALLYL)-3,5,7-TRIAZA-1-AZONIAADAMANTANE CHLORIDE, 3,5,7-TRIAZA-1-AZONIATRICYCLO[3.3.1.1]DECANE, 1-(3-CHLORO-2-PROPENYL)-, 3,5,7TRIAZA1AZONIATRICYCLO[3.3.1.13,7]DECANE, 1(3CHLORO2PROPENYL), CHLORIDE, CHLOROALLYL METHENAMINE CHLORIDE, METHENAMINE 3-CHLOROALLY LCHLORIDE, METHENAMINE 3-CHLOROALLYLOCHLORIDE, N-(3-CHLOROALLYL)HEXAMINIUM CHLORIDE, QUATERNIUM-15, and QUATERNIUM-15 (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER)

Restricted

Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation


This ingredient is a quaternary ammonium salt used as a preservative; it acts as a formaldehyde releaser. The European Union has determined that this ingredient 'may not be safe' in cosmetics.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • LOW
    Cancer
  • HIGH
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • MODERATE
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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body wash/cleanser3 products
eye makeup remover2 products
conditioner2 products
facial cleanser1 products
makeup remover1 products
mascara1 products
detangler1 products
styling gel/lotion1 products

Contamination concerns

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Chemical
FORMALDEHYDE

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Known human skin sensitizer toxicant or allergenOpen scientific literature
Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidenceCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergiesNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Possible human eye, skin irritantOpen scientific literature

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Recommended restricted in cosmetics - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - anyOpen scientific literature
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualificationsCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as medium human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient)EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Cancer - limited evidenceOpen scientific literature

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
One or more animal studies show any effects at moderate dosesOpen scientific literature

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

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - Determined safe for use in cosmetics up to a specified concentration limitCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • 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). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.

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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