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Toxicol In Vitro. 2013 Dec;27(8):2203-12. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2013.09.016. Epub 2013 Sep 21.

Confirmation of in vitro and clinical safety assessment of behentrimonium chloride-containing leave-on body lotions using post-marketing adverse event data.

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Kao USA Inc., 2535 Spring Grove Avenue, Cincinnati, OH, USA. Electronic address:


Behentrimonium chloride (BTC) is a straight-chain alkyltrimonium chloride compound commonly used as an antistatic, hair conditioning, emulsifier, or preservative agent in personal care products. Although the European Union recently restricted the use of alkyltrimonium chlorides and bromides as preservatives to ≤0.1%, these compounds have been safely used for many years at ≤5% in hundreds of cosmetic products for other uses than as a preservative. In vitro, clinical, and controlled consumer usage tests in barrier-impaired individuals were conducted to determine if whole body, leave-on skin care products containing 1-5% BTC cause dermal irritation or any other skin reaction with use. BTC-containing formulations were predicted to be non-irritants by the EpiDerm® skin irritation test and the bovine corneal opacity and permeability (BCOP)/chorioallantoic membrane vascular assay (CAMVA) ocular irritation test battery. No evidence of allergic contact dermatitis or cumulative dermal irritation was noted under the exaggerated conditions of human occlusive patch tests. No clinically assessed or self-reported adverse reactions were noted in adults or children with atopic, eczematous, and/or xerotic skin during two-week and four-week monitored home usage studies. These results were confirmed by post-marketing data for five body lotions, which showed only 0.69 undesirable effects (mostly skin irritation) reported per million shipped consumer units during 2006-2011; a value consistent with a non-irritating body lotion. No serious undesirable effects were reported during in-market use of the products. Therefore, if formulated in appropriate conditions at 1-5%, BTC will not cause dermal irritation or delayed contact sensitization when used in a whole-body, leave-on product.


Behentrimonium chloride; Cosmetics; Dermal irritation; Dermal sensitization; Personal care products

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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