Occurrence of 1,4-dioxane in cosmetic raw materials and finished cosmetic products

J AOAC Int. May-Jun 2001;84(3):666-70.


Surveys of cosmetic raw materials and finished products for the presence of the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane have been conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 1979. Analytical methods are described for the determination of 1,4-dioxane in ethoxylated cosmetic raw materials and cosmetic finished products. 1,4-Dioxane was isolated by azeotropic atmospheric distillation and determined by gas chromatography using n-butanol as an internal standard. A solid-phase extraction procedure based on a previously published method for the determination of 1,4-dioxane in cosmetic finished products was also used. 1,4-Dioxane was found in ethoxylated raw materials at levels up to 1410 ppm, and at levels up to 279 ppm in cosmetic finished products. Levels of 1,4-dioxane in excess of 85 ppm in children's shampoos indicate that continued monitoring of raw materials and finished products is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • 1-Butanol
  • Carcinogens / analysis*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Chromatography, Gas / methods
  • Cosmetics / chemistry*
  • Dioxanes / analysis*
  • Hair Preparations / chemistry
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Carcinogens
  • Cosmetics
  • Dioxanes
  • Hair Preparations
  • 1-Butanol
  • 1,4-dioxane