How do you convince someone that phenoxyethanol is a xenoestrogen when EWG doesn't say much about it?
Just a heads up, Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Proctor & Gamble have partnered up. Decide for yourself what this means...
Phenoxyethanol is also known as ethylene glycol monophenyl ether, ethylene glycol phenyl ether and 2-phenoxyethanol. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in personal care products and in my opinion has potential endocrine disrupting effects due to its glycol ether component, its phenol content and possible 1,4 dioxane contamination. Although there are few studies that currently state phenoxyethanol is a xenoestrogen, when you research the components used to create this preservative, you discover they in and of themselves have hormone disrupting effects.
Phenoxyethanol is manufactured through the reaction of ethylene oxide with phenols and glycol ethers. Chemical phenols are produced using benzene which is a known endocrine disruptor. Synonyms for phenol include carbolic acid, benzophenol and hydroxybenzene. It is interesting to note that phenols are the main compound used to make the xenoestrogen, bisphenol A (BPA). In fact the single largest market for phenols is for the production of BPA, which by the way is made by combining a phenol with acetone. Ethylene oxide treatment generally creates a by-product called 1,4 Dioxane, which is a known carcinogen and a suspected reproductive toxicant. Glycol ethers are chemical cousins of ethylene glycol, propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol (PEGs). All of which are listed as possible hormone disrupting chemicals with potential negative neurocognitive effects in children due to their ethylene glycol content.
It is interesting to note that scientists are trying to find ways to remove phenoxyethanol from our water, as they claim it is an endocrine disruptor. Additionally, MSDS sheets link chronic, occupational exposure of ethylene glycol in phenoxyethanol to wasting of the testicles, reproductive changes, infertility and changes to kidney function.
I encourage you to spend time on the below links and decide for yourself how safe phenoxyethanol is.