What Is It?

3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol is a yellow powder. 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol is used in the formulation of semi-permanent hair dyes, colors and tints.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol helps to impart color to hair. The exact color obtained will depend on the other ingredients that are used in the preparation and the starting color of the hair.

Scientific Facts:

3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol is used in semi-permanent hair coloring systems that are usually applied in a shampoo base and contain thickeners, alkalizers, and foam stabilizers. The color that is produced results from careful formulation of the product so that the ingredients interact in a highly controlled process.

Safety Information:

The safety of 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol was safe as a hair dye ingredient.

More safety Information:

CIR Safety Review:

When applied to human skin, 0.42% of the applied 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol was recovered in the receptor fluid. The NOAEL (No Observed Adverse Effect Level) for 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol was 100 mg/kg/day in subchronic toxicity tests using 25, 100, or 400 mg/kg/day for up to 93 days. Two percent 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol was a slight ocular irritant but not a dermal irritant and it was not a sensitizer using the Local Lymph Node Assay. There were no embryotoxic or develomental effects observed at doses up to 750 mg/kg/day; the NOAEL was defined as 100 mg/kg. 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol was not genotoxic in in vitro assays including multiple strains of Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli, Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, and human lymphocyte cultures. No carcinogenicity studies were available, nor were any clinical tests reported.

Many hair dye epidemiology studies are available that evaluate the possible link between hair dye use and cancer and other diseases, but these studies do not support a causal relationship between hair dye use and cancer or other diseases. The CIR Expert Panel considered the low percutaneous absorption, and the NOAEL values for developmental toxicity data and subchronic toxicity were sufficiently high to alleviate concern about the absence of chronic exposure data. In addition, several studies demonstrated that 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol was not genotoxic.

More information about the safety of hair dyes.

3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol is listed in the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union and may be used as a non-oxidizing coloring agent for hair dyeing at a maximum concentration of 0.15% in the finished product (see Annex III).

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm

More Scientific Information:

Hair dyeing formulations belong to three categories – temporary, semi-permanent and permanent coloring of hair. Semi-permanent coloring preparations generally provide color through several shampooings. These materials are often low molecular weight pre-formed dyes which can penetrate the hair shaft to some extent. 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol is a substituted aromatic compound. In cosmetics and personal care products, 3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol functions as a hair colorant in non-oxidative, direct hair dyes.


The FDA’s factsheet on Hair Dye Products http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformati…

Search the FDA Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm

The European Commissionâ’s Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers (SCCNFP) opinion on 1-(2-hydroxyethyloxy)-3-methylamino-4-nitrobenzene (3-Methylamino-4-Nitrophenoxyethanol) http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/sccp/docshtml/sccp_out35_e…

EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/