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Data: Good

Triethanolamine

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

SEARCH PRODUCTS

Other Concerns

Use restrictions (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), and Contamination concerns (high)

SYNONYMS

2,2',2"-NITRILOTRIS[ETHANOL], 2,2',2''-NITRILOTRIETHANOL, ETHANOL, 2,2 ,2 NITRILOTRIS, ETHANOL, 2,2',2"-NITRILOTRIS-, TEA, TRIETHANOLAMINE, and TROLAMINE

Restricted

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


Triethanolamine is a strongly alkaline substance used as surfactant and pH adjusting chemical.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

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

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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moisturizer173 products
mascara128 products
hand sanitizer112 products
mask100 products
recreational sunscreen90 products
facial moisturizer/treatment88 products
shaving cream80 products
hair styling aide55 products
foundation47 products
daily use with SPF41 products
after sun product38 products
serums & essences38 products
styling gel/lotion36 products
hair color and bleaching35 products
eye shadow31 products
exfoliant/scrub28 products
facial cleanser28 products
body firming lotion27 products
shaving cream (men's)26 products
eye liner25 products
glitter23 products
hair treatment/serum22 products
hand cream18 products
around-eye cream18 products
baby sunscreen16 products
body wash/cleanser12 products
brow liner12 products
shampoo12 products
makeup primer12 products
anti-aging10 products
body spray10 products
foot moisturizer8 products
baby lotion8 products
muscle/joint soreness8 products
tooth whitening8 products
after shave7 products
toners/astringents7 products
conditioner6 products
bar soap6 products
hair spray4 products
fragrance for women4 products
concealer4 products
foot cleansing3 products
bronzer/highlighter3 products
BB cream3 products
bubble bath3 products
damaged skin treatment3 products
beard care3 products
lip balm2 products
makeup remover2 products
detangler2 products
tanning oil2 products
sunless tanning2 products
liquid hand soap2 products
other eye makeup2 products
eyelash glue2 products
2 products
skin fading/lightener1 products
fragrance for men1 products
nail treatment1 products
hair-loss treatment1 products
styling mousse/foam1 products
cuticle treatment1 products
lip gloss1 products
antiperspirant/deodorant1 products
foot odor control1 products
nail polish1 products
setting powder/spray1 products
polish remover1 products
pore strips1 products
lip plumper1 products

Contamination concerns

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Chemical
NITROSAMINES

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidenceCosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Human immune and respiratory toxicant or allergen - strong evidenceAssociation of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergiesNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Use restrictions

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CONCERN REFERENCE
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
One or more animal studies show any effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient)EPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide Ingredients

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
22829 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

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

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 gapsInt'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens
  • CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
  • AOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • 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.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1987 & 2005. Office of Pesticide Programs. Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients in Pesticide Products - Categorized List of Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients.
  • 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.
  • IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). 2008. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenicity to Humans, as evaluated in IARC Monographs Volumes 1-99 (a total of 935 agents, mixtures and exposures).

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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