What Is It?
Ammonium Chloride is an inorganic salt. In its pure form it is a clear white water-soluble crystalline material. In cosmetics and personal care products it is use in the formulation of bath products, soaps and detergents, cleansing products, hair coloring products and other hair care products including shampoos and hair conditioners.
Why Is It Used?
Ammonium Chloride is used as a viscosity increasing agent – aqueous.
Ammonium Chloride is prepared commercially by reacting ammonia with hydrogen chloride. It can also be prepared by the reaction of sodium chloride and an ammonium salt in solution. In food, Ammonium Chloride is used as a dough strengthener, a flavor enhancer, a leavening agent and a processing aid.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Ammonium Chloride on its list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe (“GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe. Under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive.). The FDA permits Ammonium Chloride to be used as a diuretic in Over-the-Counter (OTC) menstrual drug products.
FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Ammonium Chloride
As part the of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) High Production Volume (HPV) chemical program, safety information available on Ammonium Chloride were reviewed. Studies in this review indicate that Ammonium Chloride is moderately irritating to the skin and eyes. It is not a sensitizer. Ammonium Chloride is not genotoxic, nor is at a carcinogen or reproductive or developmental toxicant. The reviewers concluded that Ammonium Chloride was of low priority for additional work.
Link to the data summary on Ammonium Chloride http://www.chem.unep.ch/irptc/sids/oecdsids/12125029.pdf
Ammonium Chloride may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm
Find out more about the regulation of over-the-counter drugs by the Food and Drug Administration
OTC Drug Home Page: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSa…
Information about OTC Drug monographs: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/over-counter-otc-drug-monograph-process
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm
Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/default.htm
Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/