Polyquaternium-22 and polyquaternium-39 are polymers that function as antistatic agents, film formers, and hair fixatives in cosmetic products. These ingredients are being used at concentrations up to 2% (polyquaternium-22, in a rinse-off product) and up to 3% (polyquaternium-39, in rinse-off and leave-on products). The unreacted monomer content of these ingredients was considered low and of no toxicological concern. Limited data showed no skin irritation/sensitization. Although these ingredients were nongenotoxic in bacterial assays, mammalian genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and reproductive and developmental toxicity data were not available. These polymers, however, are large, highly polar molecules that would likely not be absorbed, and neither local effects in the respiratory tract nor systemic toxicity are expected following product application/exposure. The Expert Panel concluded that polyquaternium-22 and polyquaternium-39 are safe in the present practices of use and concentration in cosmetic formulations.
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