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Data: Fair

Sodium Benzoate

  • Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

Use restrictions (moderate) and Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (low)

SYNONYMS

BENZOIC ACID, SODIUM SALT, SODIUM BENZOATE, and SODIUM SALT BENZOIC ACID

Restricted

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


Sodium benzoate is a preservative commonly used in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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shampoo999 products
body wash/cleanser855 products
conditioner605 products
liquid hand soap409 products
facial cleanser377 products
facial moisturizer/treatment359 products
moisturizer266 products
serums & essences240 products
foundation225 products
mask225 products
hair treatment/serum221 products
baby wipes149 products
daily use with SPF121 products
exfoliant/scrub119 products
mouthwash115 products
toners/astringents113 products
around-eye cream104 products
hair styling aide102 products
makeup remover92 products
baby shampoo84 products
concealer72 products
brow liner65 products
baby soap64 products
hair color and bleaching62 products
mascara60 products
bath oil/salts/soak59 products
hand cream57 products
makeup primer55 products
toothpaste53 products
recreational sunscreen53 products
bubble bath52 products
setting powder/spray52 products
antiperspirant/deodorant45 products
eye liner45 products
42 products
styling gel/lotion41 products
body spray39 products
body firming lotion38 products
eye shadow38 products
detangler37 products
sunless tanning34 products
bronzer/highlighter30 products
CC cream28 products
anti-aging27 products
styling mousse/foam26 products
hair spray24 products
shaving cream24 products
baby lotion21 products
after sun product20 products
lipstick20 products
hand sanitizer19 products
BB cream19 products
after shave17 products
baby bubble bath16 products
nail polish12 products
lip gloss12 products
hair-loss treatment11 products
nail treatment11 products
bar soap11 products
tooth whitening9 products
eye makeup remover9 products
baby sunscreen9 products
beard cleanser9 products
beard care9 products
muscle/joint soreness8 products
foot moisturizer7 products
lip balm7 products
baby toothpaste6 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)6 products
shaving cream (men's)6 products
blush6 products
fragrance for women6 products
skin fading/lightener6 products
facial powder6 products
glitter6 products
body oil5 products
other eye makeup3 products
oil controller3 products
eyelash glue3 products
lip plumper3 products
polish remover3 products
foot odor control3 products
tanning oil3 products
foot cleansing2 products
vapor rubs2 products
depilatory1 products
hair removal waxes1 products
cuticle treatment1 products
baby oil1 products
lip balm with SPF1 products
damaged skin treatment1 products
diaper cream1 products

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
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
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
Insufficient data to determine safetyEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
1089 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

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

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

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 persistentEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited or incomplete evidence of cancer according to safety/hazard data – government assessment cannot classify as human carcinogen due to data gapsEPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
  • Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • 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.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986-2005 guidelines.
  • 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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