What Is It?
The Trideceth ingredients (Trideceth-2, Trideceth-3, Trideceth-4, Trideceth-5, Trideceth-6, Trideceth-7, Trideceth-8, Trideceth-9, Trideceth-10, Trideceth-11, Trideceth-12, Trideceth-15, Trideceth-18, Trideceth-20, Trideceth-21, Trideceth-50) are polyethylene glycol ethers of tridecyl Alcohols are a large class of important cosmetic ingredients but only ethanol needs to be denatured to prevent it from being redirected from cosmetic applications to alcoholic beverages.. The number in the name indicates the average number of units of ethylene oxide in the molecule. In cosmetic and personal care products, the Trideceth ingredients are used in the formulation of a variety of skin care and hair care products.
Why Is It Used?
The following functions have been reported for the Trideceth ingredients.
- An ingredient that helps two substances that normally do not mix to become dissolved or dispersed in one another. Also called a surface active agent. – cleansing agent: Trideceth-20, Trideceth-50
- Surfactant – emulsifying agent: Trideceth-2, Trideceth-3, Trideceth-4, Trideceth-5, Trideceth-6, Trideceth-7, Trideceth-8, Trideceth-9, Trideceth-10, Trideceth-11, Trideceth-12, Trideceth-15, Trideceth-18, Trideceth-20
- Surfactant – solubilizing agent: Trideceth-20, Trideceth-21
The Trideceth ingredients are produced by reacting ethylene oxide with tridecyl alcohol. The numerical designation refers to the average number of repeating ethylene oxide units in the molecule. Tridecyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol with 13 carbon atoms. The fatty alcohols in the other polyethylene glycol ether compounds reviewed by CIR include lauryl alcohol with 12 carbons, stearyl alcohol with 18 carbons, and cetearyl alcohol which is a mixture of cetyl alcohol (16 carbons) and stearyl alcohol.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits the Trideceth ingredients (polyoxyethylated tridecyl alcohol) to be used as indirect food additives. They may be used as defoaming agents in paper and paperboard, and in coatings of paper and paperboard used for food packaging. The safety of the Tridecth ingredients has been assessed by the The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) Expert Panel as part of the review of the alkyl PEG An organic compound that contains an oxygen atom bound to two hydrocarbon groups. An ether compound is often represented by R-O-R’. group of ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that the alkyl PEG ethers including the Trideceth ingredients were safe as used in cosmetic products when formulated to be non-irritating.
CIR Safety Review:
Based on similar structures, the CIR Expert Panel determined that the alkyl PEG ether compounds, including the Trideceth ingredients could be reviewed together. Developmental and reproductive toxicity studies as well as mutagenicity data were all negative for these compounds. These compounds can irritate the skin. Therefore, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that the Trideceth ingredients, as well as the other alkyl PEG ether ingredients were safe as used when formulated to be nonirritating.
Small amounts of 1,4-dioxane, a by-product of ethoxylation, may be found in the Trideceth ingredients. The potential presence of this material is well known and can be controlled through purification steps to remove it from the ingredients before blending into cosmetic formulations.
More information about 1,4-dioxane.
Link to Code of Federal Regulations for the Trideceth ingredients
The Trideceth ingredients 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
More Scientific Information
Trideceth ingredients are polyethylene glycol ethers of tridecyl alcohol that contain repeating ethylene oxide units. These ingredients are useful in cosmetics and personal care products as surfactant – cleansing agents, surfactant – emulsifying agents, and surfactant – solubilizing agents.
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” 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.): 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/