3: Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Oleic Acid, Lauric Acid, Palmitic Acid, Myristic Acid, and Stearic Acid
Oleic, Lauric, Palmitic, Myristic, and Stearic Acids are fatty acids with hydrocarbon chains ranging in length from 12 to 18 carbons with a terminal carboxyl group. These fatty acids are absorbed, digested, and transported in animals and humans. Little acute toxicity was observed when Ofeic, Lauric, Palmitic, Myristic, or Stearic Acid or cosmetic formulations containing these fatty acids were given to rats orally at doses of 15-19 g/kg body weight. Feeding of 15% dietary Oleic Acid to rats in a chronic study resulted in normal growth and health, but reproductive capacity of female rats was impaired. Results from topical application of Oleic, Palmitic, and Stearic Acid to the skin of mice, rabbits, and guinea pigs produced little or no apparent toxicity. Studies using product formulations containing Oleic and Stearic acids indicate that neither is a sensitizer or photosensitizing agent. Animal studies also indicate that these fatty acids are not eye irritants. Lauric, Stearic, and Oleic Acids were noncarcinogenic in separate animal tests. In primary and cumulative irritation clinical studies, Oleic, Myristic, and Stearic Acids at high concentrations were nonirritating. Cosmetic product formulations containing Oleic, Lauric, Palmitic, and Stearic Acids at concentrations ranging up to 13% were not primary or cumulative irritants, nor sensitizers. On the basis of available data from studies using animals and humans, it is concluded that Oleic, Lauric, Palmitic, Myristic, and Stearic Acids are safe in present practices of use and concentration in cosmetics.