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Potassium Chloride

* A viscosity increasing agent

Potassium Chloride is most famous for its use in fertilizer and lethal injections, but is used in cosmetics and skin care formulas as a viscosity increasing agent or thickening agent, according to CosmeticsInfo.org. It is often seen as an ingredient in bath products, cleansing products, eye makeup, skin care products, and hair care products.

* A viscosity increasing agent

Functions:

Potassium Chloride is most famous for its use in fertilizer and lethal injections, but is used in cosmetics and skin care formulas as a viscosity increasing agent or thickening agent, according to CosmeticsInfo.org. It is often seen as an ingredient in bath products, cleansing products, eye makeup, skin care products, and hair care products.

Potassium Chloride is an odorless salt composed of potassium and chlorine that naturally occurs as sylvite, and can be extracted from salt water or manufactured by crystallization. It is FDA approved for use as a food additive and is often combined with salt for flavoring purposes (Wikipedia).

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

Although Potassium Chloride is deadly when ingested (and was used as the main component in Dr. Kevorkian's suicidal cocktail), it is considered a low hazard ingredient by the Cosmetics Database. It does, however, cite cancer, neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity, and endocrine disruption concerns, and says that animal studies showed brain and nervous system effects at low doses, and in vitro tests on mammalian cells showed positive mutation results in 1989.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) High Production Volume (HPV) chemical program found that "Potassium Chloride was irritating to the skin at concentrations of 60%. Potassium Chloride was not a carcinogen or developmental toxicant." The Material Safety Data Sheet did give Potassium Chloride moderate health and contact ratings and noted that it could cause irritation to the eyes and skin, or cause a rash, especially on moist skin. It recommended wearing goggles, a lab coat, gloves, and a vent hood when working with Potassium Chloride.
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