Triphenyl Phosphate

What Is It?

Triphenyl Phosphate is a colorless, crystalline solid widely and safely used by many industries around the world. Triphenyl Phosphate provides many benefits to consumer products – from preventing electrical and automobile fires to increasing flexibility and durability of such products as photographic films. Studies support the safe use of Triphenyl Phosphate in its different applications.  

Why Is It Used?

Triphenyl Phosphate is used in some nail polish and nail enamels, basecoats and undercoats, and manicuring products. It is used in very low concentrations, primarily to increase the flexibility and durability of nail polish products, and improve adhesion of the product to the nail plate.

Safety Information

Triphenyl Phosphate’s safety has been assessed from scientific organizations via several studies and ingredient reviews. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) concluded that Triphenyl Phosphate had a low hazard potential for human health effects. The World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the available data on Triphenyl Phosphate indicated no hazard to humans. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Triphenyl Phosphate as an indirect food additive that may be used in polymers having incidental contact with food. In addition, Triphenyl Phosphate is used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

OECD Safety Assessment: The toxicity of Triphenyl Phosphate was low after short-term oral and dermal exposure. Triphenyl Phosphate was not irritating to the skin, irritation potential of the eye was very low, and incidence of allergic skin reactions was very low. Triphenyl Phosphate did not cause negative effects on the genetic material of cells (i.e., was not genotoxic) and gave no indication of cancer-causing potential. There were no findings indicating any adverse effects on reproductive fertility or fetal development.

WHO Report:  Triphenyl Phosphate had low toxicity and produced no irritant effect on skin. Triphenyl Phosphate was not considered neurotoxic in humans.  Triphenyl Phosphate was not mutagenic.

In this report, WHO cites a study in which male and female rats were fed dietary levels of up to 10 mg of Triphenyl Phosphate (TPP)/kg from 4 weeks post weaning for 91 days, through mating and gestation.  At these dietary levels, the daily intake of TPP during pregnancy was up to 690 mg/kg body weight.  TPP exposure had no toxic effects on mothers or offspring at any tested dosage.  No significant increase in the incidence of anomalies was seen in the treated groups as compared to control values. TPP was not teratogenic (did not cause birth defects) in rats at the levels tested.

Overall, available safety data indicates no risk to humans.

National Toxicology Program (NTP) Testing Status: Triphenyl Phosphate was negative for genetic toxicity in a bacterial mutation assay.  


Regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Safety Assessments