Detect urea and formaldehyde in a surfactant system

Can presence of urea and formaldehyde in a surfactant system be detected using household items?


  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    Maybe if you are MacGyver. Honestly, it would require more advanced testing. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Thanks for the response. Advanced testing- how?
  • @Aanchal Formaldehyde is no longer used in cosmetics as a preservative and you only have ingredients that release formaldehyde as a by-product (like some preservatives).

    The thing is that the amounts of formaldehyde being released are very small, so small that they can only be detected with lab equipment and specific reagents and techniques.  
  • Yes, they are banned. But aren't they used in house hold cleaning supplies? 
  • @Aanchal Pure Formaldehyde is banned in cosmetics. Its presence in household items actually depends on each country's sanitary office: if they use for instance EU's Cosing database, they will not give you a license for a product that contains Formaldehyde.

    In my country, we have two different offices, one for cosmetics (which uses Cosing database as reference) and the other for household products (that doesn't use Cosing since they consider it's for cosmetics only), being the latter still permisive with the use of Formaldehyde as preservative. Nevertheless, doses of Formaldehyde are very low, and you'd still need lab equipment and reagents to identify its presence (unless they declare it in the label), or you could find that information in the product's MSDS (if they posted it).   
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