Description and safety of Polyquaternium-7
Polyquaternium-7 is a clear, colorless to pale yellow liquid. In cosmetics and personal care products, it is used in a wide variety of products including shampoos, hair conditioners and other hair products, bath soaps and cleansing products.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Polyquats-7 prevents or inhibits the buildup of static electricity and dries to form a thin coating that is absorbed onto the hair shaft. Polyquaternium-7 also helps hair hold its style by inhibiting the hair’s ability to absorb moisture.
- Scientific Facts:
Polyquaternium-7 is a quaternary ammonium compound (generally referred to as a “Quat”). Polyquaternium-7 is typically available as an 8% aqueous solution.
- Safety Information:
The safety of Polyquats-7 has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Polyquats-7 was safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products.
- More safety Information:
CIR Safety Review: At concentrations higher than those used in cosmetics and personal care products, Polyquats-7 was not a dermal irritant or sensitizer. It did cause mild eye irritation that cleared after 24 hours.
Polyquaternium-7 was not a mutagen. The CIR Expert Panel considered the structure of Polyquats-7 and after reviewing the available data, concluded that Polyquats-7 is unlikely to produce general toxicity, developmental toxicity, or mutagenic/carcinogenic effects under use conditions. Polyquaternium-7 is a copolymer of acrylamide and dimethyl diallyl ammonium chloride monomers.
The CIR Expert Panel acknowledged the presence of acrylamide as an impurity but the reported maximum concentration of 10 ppm is sufficiently small so that when added to formulations at concentrations of 5% or less, the amount of acrylamide has no toxicological significance. The CIR Expert Panel therefore issued a "safe as used" conclusion. Polyquats-7 may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.
- More Scientific Information:
Polyquaternium-7 is a quaternary ammonium compound used as an antistatic agent, film former and hair fixative in cosmetics and personal care products. The quaternary nitrogen atom in Polyquats-7 always carries a cationic charge regardless of the pH of the system. At high pHs, the presence of hydroxyl groups may reduce the normally high water solubility of quaternary ammonium compounds. The positive charge on the quats attracts them to the slightly negatively charged skin and hair proteins. This accounts for the use of most monomeric and polymeric quats for all types of hair and skin conditioning products and as antistatics agents. Some of the polymeric quats are used as hair setting and styling products.
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