Toxno Substance Profile
Evidence-based data. We have more than 25,000 profiles on Toxno.
Use Search below to seek out more. Or browse the Exposure Routes; alternatively see our Lists that have more substances than notes in a Liszt virtuoso piano piece.
Substance Name

2-Phenoxyethanol
Identification Number: CASRN | 122-99-6

  Substance Attributes


  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Food Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | Indirect Additives Used in Food Contact Substances | EAFUS (Everything Added to Food in the United States) | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - Non Food Use Only | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - FRAGRANCE ( Generally Not used on Food) | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Benzenoids | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives | Phenol Ethers | Phenol Ethers
  • SYNONYMS: 1-Hydroxy-2-phenoxyethane | 2-Hydroxyethyl phenyl ether | 2-Phenoxyethanol | 9CI | Dalpad A | Ethylene glycol monophenyl ether | Ethylene glycol phenyl ether | Newpol EFP | Phenoxetol | Phenylcellosolve
  • DESCRIPTION: Phenoxyethanol is chemical preservative, a glycol ether often used in dermatological products such as skin creams and sunscreen. It is a colorless oily liquid. It is a bactericide (usually used in conjunction with quaternary ammonium compounds), often used in place of sodium azide in biological buffers because phenoxyethanol is less toxic and non-reactive with copper and lead. It is used in many applications such as cosmetics, vaccines and pharmaceuticals as a preservative. It is also used as a fixative for perfumes, an insect repellent, a topical antiseptic, a solvent for cellulose acetate, some dyes, inks, and resins, in preservatives, pharmaceuticals, and in organic synthesis. The Food and Drug Administration has warned that the chemical is toxic to infants via ingestion, and can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Combined with Chlorphenesin, these two chemicals can cause respiratory depression in infants. Since these chemicals are often present in cosmetics and lotions applied to the hands and are easily ingested, caution should be exercised. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) data sheets show chromosomal changes and genetic mutation effects in testing as well as testicular atrophy and interference with reproductivity in mice.
  • COMMENTS:

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Harmful if swallowed. Causes serious eye irritation | General Health Hazard | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C8H10O2
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | EAFUS | EPA USA - Pesticide Inerts | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: May cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: | Oxidized to the corresponding aldehyde and alkoxyacetic acid by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH; EC 1.1.1.1) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH; EC 1.2.1.3), respectively. (A15201)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: 2-Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether. Glycol ethers can produce toxicity following oxidation to the corresponding aldehyde and alkoxyacetic acid by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH; EC 1.1.1.1) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH; EC 1.2.1.3), respectively. (A15201) 2-Phenoxyethanol causes reduction of NMDA-induced membrane currents, indicating a neurotoxic potential for 2-phenoxyethanol. (A15202) |
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: 2-Phenoxyethanol is used in many applications such as cosmetics, vaccines and pharmaceuticals as a preservative. It is also used as a fixative for perfumes, an insect repellent, a topical antiseptic, a solvent for cellulose acetate, some dyes, inks, and resins, in preservatives, pharmaceuticals, and in organic synthesis.

 Search all of Toxno

Or browse our mind blowing but terrifying Lists.

  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


  Stay Informed

Chemicals released in consumer products and the environment are constantly changing. Regulations change. Exposure Routes change. People speak up and nasties are removed while often others are introduced.

By signing up you will periodically receive updates of potentially life changing information. Both for yourself and your family.

We take security and privacy very seriously and you can unsubscribe at any time.


cats at toxno

"Yeh. We were surprised too"