Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate is one of a group of salts of alkylbenzene sulfonates used in cosmetics as surfactant-cleansing agents. Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate is soluble in water and partially soluble in alcohol, with dermal absorption dependent on pH. Dodecylbenzenesulfonate salts are not toxic in single-dose oral and dermal animal tests, and no systemic toxicities were observed in repeat-dose dermal animal studies. In dermal animal studies, no evidence of reproductive or developmental toxicity was reported. At 15% concentrations, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate was severely irritating to rabbit skin. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concluded that the irritant properties of these ingredients are similar to those of other detergents, with severity dependent on concentration and pH. Products containing these ingredients should be formulated to ensure that the irritancy potential is minimized.
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