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Data: Fair

Sodium Hydroxide

  • Products with this ingredient are allowed for use in EWG VERIFIED but must meet use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.
  • Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.
  • This ingredient’s score is lower when used as a saponification agent (e.g., soaps and cleansers)

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

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

SYNONYMS

● CAUSTIC SODA
● CAUSTIC SODA; SODIUM HYDROXIDE; SODIUM HYDROXIDE
● SODIUM HYDRATE
● SODIUM HYDROXIDE
● SODIUM HYDROXIDE (NA(OH))
● SODIUM HYDROXIDE SOLUTION

Restricted

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


Sodium Hydroxide is a highly caustic and reactive inorganic base.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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moisturizer585 products
shampoo554 products
facial moisturizer/treatment492 products
bar soap438 products
body wash/cleanser340 products
facial cleanser327 products
serums & essences279 products
conditioner278 products
exfoliant/scrub186 products
mask178 products
toothpaste159 products
liquid hand soap136 products
hair treatment/serum129 products
around-eye cream117 products
hand cream113 products
hair color and bleaching106 products
toners/astringents93 products
recreational sunscreen89 products
daily use with SPF76 products
mascara66 products
brow liner64 products
hair styling aide64 products
styling gel/lotion58 products
tooth whitening50 products
baby lotion48 products
makeup remover46 products
eye liner45 products
foundation42 products
makeup primer42 products
body firming lotion41 products
shaving cream40 products
eye shadow37 products
anti-aging33 products
baby soap29 products
bubble bath29 products
after shave26 products
antiperspirant/deodorant25 products
after sun product23 products
baby shampoo22 products
sunless tanning19 products
concealer19 products
shaving cream (men's)17 products
hand sanitizer16 products
bath oil/salts/soak16 products
BB cream16 products
styling mousse/foam15 products
foot moisturizer14 products
setting powder/spray14 products
antiperspirant/deodorant (men's)13 products
lipstick13 products
facial cleansing wipes13 products
skin fading/lightener12 products
baby wipes12 products
bronzer/highlighter12 products
12 products
depilatory11 products
hair spray10 products
detangler10 products
muscle/joint soreness9 products
blush9 products
damaged skin treatment9 products
mouthwash8 products
nail treatment7 products
hair-loss treatment7 products
makeup removing wipes7 products
foot cleansing6 products
body oil6 products
body spray6 products
baby oil4 products
baby sunscreen4 products
tanning oil4 products
fragrance for women3 products
hair relaxer3 products
eye makeup remover3 products
other eye makeup3 products
glitter3 products
foot odor control3 products
beard care3 products
pore strips3 products
baby bubble bath2 products
oil controller2 products
hair removal waxes2 products
lip gloss2 products
cuticle treatment1 products
depilatory (men's)1 products
diaper cream1 products
lip balm1 products
vapor rubs1 products
fragrance for men1 products
beard cleanser1 products
baby toothpaste1 products
body cleansing wipes1 products
nail glue1 products
lip liner1 products

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Avoid or minimize skin exposure: recommendation from industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR)Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - anyCosIng
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

Occupational hazards

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Single case study detailing occupational hazardsNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Miscellaneous

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Occupational hazards related to handlingCPS&Q - Classification & Labelling

Ecotoxicology

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

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 - Avoid or minimize skin exposure: recommendation from industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR)Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
7043 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • European Commission. 2013. Cosing, the European Commission database with information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. Accessed on March 1, 2013 at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/ .
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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