Quaternium-15 (CAS no. 51229-78-8)

Quaternium-15 is a quaternary ammonium salt used as a preservative in personal care products and cosmetics. It is known for its antimicrobial properties, which help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, extending the shelf life of products.

Usage in Cosmetics and Household Products
Quaternium-15 is found in various products including:
  • Skin Care Products: Such as creams, lotions, and cleansers to keep them free from microbial contamination.
  • Hair Care Products: Including shampoos and conditioners.
  • Make-Up Products: Such as powders and eyeliners.
  • Bath Products: Like soaps and shower gels.
Other Names or Synonyms
Dowicil 75
N-(3-Chloroallyl) hexaminium chloride
Chloroallyl methenamine chloride

Skin Sensitivities and Allergies
Quaternium-15 is known to release formaldehyde, which can cause skin irritation and sensitization. It's particularly concerning for individuals with sensitive skin as it may trigger allergic contact dermatitis.

Other Associated Risks
Respiratory Irritation: Inhalation of products containing Quaternium-15 can irritate the respiratory tract.
Cancer Risk: Due to its formaldehyde-releasing properties, there's a potential risk of cancer with prolonged exposure.
Eye Irritation: It may cause eye irritation or damage.

Regulatory Status
As per California Assembly Bill No. 496, Quaternium-15 is banned from being used in cosmetic products sold or manufactured in California starting January 1, 2025, due to its formaldehyde-releasing properties and associated health risks.

Banning Justification (California Assembly Bill No. 496, CHAPTER 441)
The legislation targets enhancing public health by restricting the sale and manufacture of cosmetic products with certain hazardous ingredients, including Quaternium-15, from January 1, 2025. This move aligns with the broader goal of minimizing consumer and occupational exposure to toxic substances, improving cosmetic safety, and catering to the concerns of sensitive skin consumers.

Notes for Sensitive Skin Consumers
Individuals with sensitive skin should avoid products containing Quaternium-15 to prevent potential skin irritation and allergic reactions. Opting for products labeled as "formaldehyde-free" or consulting with a dermatologist for safer alternatives is advisable.

Exemption Clause (California Assembly Bill No. 496)
An exemption is provided for technically unavoidable trace quantities of banned substances due to manufacturing processes, ingredient impurities, storage conditions, or packaging migration. Such trace quantities do not cause the cosmetic product to be in violation of the specified regulations.

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