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Final report on the safety assessment of Malic Acid and Sodium Malate



Final report on the safety assessment of Malic Acid and Sodium Malate



International Journal of Toxicology 20 Suppl 1: 47-55



Malic Acid functions in cosmetic formulations as a pH adjuster, and Sodium Malate functions as a skin conditioning agent-humectant. Malic Acid is reportedly used in almost 50 cosmetic formulations across a range of product types at low concentrations, whereas Sodium Malate is used in only one. As a pH adjuster, Malic Acid is used at low concentrations. One commercial method of preparing Malic Acid is hydration of fumaric acid or maleic acid, and then purified to limit the amount of the starting material present. Because Malic Acid is a component of the Kreb's cycle, another method is fermentation. Malic Acid was relatively nontoxic in acute toxicity studies using animals. In a chronic oral study, feeding Malic Acid to rats resulted only in weight gain changes and changes in feed consumption. Malic Acid did not cause reproductive toxicity in mice, rats, or rabbits. Malic Acid was a moderate to strong skin irritatant in animal tests, and was a strong ocular irritant. Malic Acid was not mutagenic across a range of genotoxicity tests. Malic Acid was irritating in clinical tests, with less irritation seen as pH of the applied material increased. Patients patch tested with Malic Acid, placed on a diet that avoided foods containing Malic or citric acid, and then challenged with a diet high in Malic and citric acid had both immediate urticarial and delayed contact dermatitis reactions. These data were considered sufficient to determine that Malic Acid and Sodium Malate would be safe at the low concentrations at which these ingredients would be used to adjust pH (even though Sodium Malate is not currently used for that purpose). The data, however, were insufficient to determine the safety of these ingredients when used in cosmetics as other than pH adjusters and specifically, the data are insufficient to determine the safety of Sodium Malate when used as a skin conditioning agent-humectant. The types of data required for the Expert Panel to determine the safety of Sodium Malate as a skin-conditioning agent are: concentration of use data; dermal irritation and sensitization data; and ocular irritation data, if available. The data needed to assess the safety of Malic Acid or Sodium Malate for some function other than as a skin-conditioning agent cannot be specified without knowing the intended function. Were these ingredients to be used as exfoliants, for example, data similar to that included in the Cosmetic Ingredient Review safety assessment of Glycolic Acid would be needed. Until these data are available, it is concluded that the available data are insufficient to support the safety of these ingredients in cosmetic formulations for functions other than use as a pH adjuster.

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Accession: 046093254

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11358110

DOI: 10.1080/109158101750300946



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