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Public Health
Expert opinion


Final Opinion


Publication date
6 October 2016
Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS)


WG on Cosmetic Ingredients
SCCS members:U. Bernauer, Q. Chaudhry, P.J. Coenraads, G.H. Degen (Chairperson), M. Dusinska, W. Lilienblum (rapporteur), E. Nielsen, T. Platzek, C. Rousselle, J. van Benthem
External experts: A. Bernard, J. Duus-Johansen, J. Ezendam, A.M. Giménez-Arnau, E. Mirkova, E. Panteri, T. Vanhaecke
Contact:SANCO-C2-SCCSatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (SANCO-C2-SCCS[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
On request from: European Commission
SCCS Number: SCCS/1575/16
Adopted on: 6 October 2016

Conclusion of the opinion:

(1)Does SCCS consider Phenoxyethanol safe for use as a preservative with a maximum concentration of 1.0 %, taking into account the information provided?

The SCCS considers 2-phenoxyethanol safe for use as a preservative with a maximum concentration of 1.0%, taking into account the information provided.

(2) The SCCS is asked, when making the assessment, to take into account the specific age groups who might be particularly susceptible to the effects of Phenoxyethanol used as preservatives in cosmetic products.

The toxicokinetics default factor of 4.0 can be reduced to 1.0 yielding a minimum Margin of Safety (MoS) of 25 instead of 100 for the safety assessment of 2-phenoxyethanol. Therefore, the MoS of about 50 for children also covers this specific age group who might be higher exposed to 2-phenoxyethanol than adults.

(3) Does the SCCS have any further scientific concerns with regard to the use of Phenoxyethanol in cosmetic products?

This Opinion does not take into account exposure from sources other than cosmetics.


SCCS, scientific opinion, Phenoxyethanol, Regulation 1223/2009, CAS No. 122-99-6, EC No. 204-589-7

Opinion to be cited as:

SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety), Opinion on Phenoxyethanol, 16 March 2016, final version of 6 October 2016, SCCS/1575/16


(1.8 MB - PDF)