Survey of liquid hand soaps, including health and environmental assessments

Survey of chemical substances in consumer products, 69, 2006

A selection of hand soaps was purchased and the content of allergene sunstances were identified. 15 products were chemical analysed for among others 26 particularly sensitizing fragrance chemicals. The results showed discrepancies between the lists of ingredients and the actual content in some of the products. A health evaluation of 6 fragrances and an environmental evaluation of 8 other substances were conducted. The health evaluations showed a very low daily exposure and a fully acceptable safety margin (MoS) for fragrance chemicals for both adults and children alike. However, because of the sensitizing risk of perfumery materials, it may be concluded that particularly sensitive persons might have a risk of developing allergy when using products.The environmental evaluations showed that the use of liquid hand soaps may cause harmful effects in the aquatic environment by discharge of wastewater to areas characterised by a limited exchange of water, such as the inner part of an inlet. There is no predicted risk of effects in open waters with a regular water flow.

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