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Sodium lauryl sulphate
Last updated: 12/08/2021
(Also known as: sodium lauryl sulfate; SLS)

SUMMARY
Sodium lauryl sulfate is an anionic surfactant commonly used in detergents and cleaning. While widely used in pesticide formulations as a surfactant and dispersant it is considered an inert ingredient without pesticidal activity. However, products are available, largely for the domestic market, which are used to control common insect pests by physical rather than toxic effects. It is highly soluble in water and non-volatile. It tends not to be persistent in the environment. It is highly toxic to aquatic organisms. It is low to moderately toxic to humans but may cause allergic reactions of skin, eye or respiratory tract.
Data alerts

The following alerts are based on the data in the tables below. An absence of an alert does not imply the substance has no implications for human health, biodiversity or the environment but just that we do not have the data to form a judgement.

Environmental fate Ecotoxicity Human health
Environmental fate
Low alert:
Non-persistent
Warning:
Significant data are missing
Ecotoxicity
Moderate alert:
Fish acute ecotoxicity: Moderate; Daphnia acute ecotoxicity: Moderate
Warning:
Significant data are missing
Human health
Moderate alert:
Mammals acute toxicity: Moderate
GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
A substance mainly used as a surfactant. It has no pesticidal activity but helps control chewing and sucking pests by physical means. Also used in hygiene. personal care products and cosmetics.
Example pests controlled
Apids; Mealybugs; Immature mosquitoes; Whitefly; Spider Scale; Psyllid.
Example applications
All edible and ornamental crops
Efficacy & activity
Based on published science it highly effective as a surfactant. Limited effect as a pesticide.
Availability status
Current
Introduction & key dates
-
UK regulatory status
UK COPR regulatory status
Not applicable - not appp
Date COPR inclusion expires
Not applicable
UK LERAP status
Not applicable
EC Regulation 1107/2009 (repealing 91/414)
EC Regulation 1107/2009 status
Not applicable - not a ppp
Dossier rapporteur/co-rapporteur
Not applicable
Date EC 1107/2009 inclusion expires
Not applicable
EU Candidate for substitution (CfS)
Not applicable
Listed in EU database
No - not a ppp
Approved for use (✓) under EC 1107/2009 in the following EU Member States
ATAustria
BEBelgium
BGBulgaria
CYCyprus
CZCzech Republic
DEGermany
DKDenmark
EEEstonia
ELGreece
# # # # # # # # #
ESSpain
FIFinland
FRFrance
HRCroatia
HUHungary
IEIreland
ITItaly
LTLithuania
LULuxembourg
# # # # # # # # #
LVLatvia
MTMalta
NLNetherlands
PLPoland
PTPortugal
RORomania
SESweden
SISlovenia
SKSlovakia
# # # # # # # # #
Additional information
Also used in
USA
Chemical structure
Isomerism
None
Chemical formula
C₁₂H₂₅O₄SNa
Canonical SMILES
CCCCCCCCCCCCOS(=O)(=O)[O-].[Na+]
Isomeric SMILES
-
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
DBMJMQXJHONAFJ-UHFFFAOYSA-M
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
InChI=1S/C12H26O4S.Na/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-16-17(13,14)15;/h2-12H2,1H3,(H,13,14,15);/q;+1/p-1
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
General status
Pesticide type
Insecticide, Other
Other constituent type
Surfactant; Wetting agent
Substance group
Unclassified
Minimum active substance purity
-
Known relevant impurities
-
Substance origin
Synthetic
Mode of action
Physical means - oxygen deprivation - suffocation and dehydration. Acts similarly to that of horticultural soaps.
CAS RN
151-21-3
EC number
8012-56-4
CIPAC number
-
US EPA chemical code
079011
PubChem CID
-
Molecular mass
288.38
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
sodium dodecylsulfate
IUPAC name
sodium dodecylsulfate
CAS name
-
Other status information
[Potential serious water contaminant], [Approved under Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union; US EPA]
Relevant Environmental Water Quality Standards
-
Herbicide Resistance Classification (HRAC)
Not applicable
Herbicide Resistance Classification (WSSA)
Not applicable
Insecticide Resistance Classification (IRAC)
Not applicable
Fungicide Resistance Classification (FRAC)
Not applicable
Examples of recorded resistance
Not applicable
Physical state
Cream coloured flaky solid with musky odour
Formulations
Property
Value
Example manufacturers & suppliers of products using this active now or historically
  • Progreen Ltd
Example products using this active
  • SB Plant Invigorator
Formulation and application details
Available in a variety of formulations including ready-to0use mixes
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
100000
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
High
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Melting point (°C)
204
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
-
Boiling point (°C)
588
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
-
Degradation point (°C)
- - -
Flashpoint (°C)
- - -
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
3.98 X 1001 Calculated -
Log P
1.6
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
Low
Bulk density (g ml⁻¹)
0.6
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
- - -
-
Vapour pressure at 20 °C (mPa)
1.47 X 10-06
P3 P = Other governments and regulators
3 = Unverified data of known source
Low volatility
Henry's law constant at 25 °C (Pa m³ mol⁻¹)
- - -
Maximum UV-vis absorption L mol⁻¹ cm⁻¹
- - -
Surface tension (mN m⁻¹)
- - -
Degradation
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
General biodegradability
Biodegradable under aerobic conditions
Soil degradation (days) (aerobic)
DT₅₀ (typical)
3.0
P3 P = Other governments and regulators
3 = Unverified data of known source
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
3.0
P3 P = Other governments and regulators
3 = Unverified data of known source
Non-persistent
DT₅₀ (field)
- - -
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
- - -
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
DT₅₀ modelling endpoint
- - -
Note
Literature gives soil DT₅₀ as appox. 77.5 hrs
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on plant matrix
Value
- - -
Note
-
Dissipation rate RL₅₀ on and in plant matrix
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous photolysis DT₅₀ (days) at pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous hydrolysis DT₅₀ (days) at 20 °C and pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Water-sediment DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Water phase only DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Soil adsorption and mobility
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Linear
Kd
- - -
Koc
-
Notes and range
-
Freundlich
Kf
- - -
Kfoc
-
1/n
-
Notes and range
-
pH sensitivity
-
Fate indices
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
GUS leaching potential index
- - -
SCI-GROW groundwater index (μg l⁻¹) for a 1 kg ha⁻¹ or 1 l ha⁻¹ application rate
Value
Cannot be calculated - -
Note
-
Potential for particle bound transport index
- - -
Potential for loss via drain flow
- - -
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
- - -
CT₅₀ (days)
- -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
1288
P3 P = Other governments and regulators
3 = Unverified data of known source
Rat
Moderate
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL
(mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
(ppm diet)
- -
Mammals - Chronic 21d NOAEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Acute LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Birds - Chronic 21d NOEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
24.9
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
Oncorhnchus mykiss
Moderate
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
1.8
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
Daphnia magna
Moderate
Aquatic invertebrates - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic crustaceans - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, static, water (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, sediment (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic plants - Acute 7 day EC₅₀, biomass (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Non-target plants
- - -
- - -
Algae - Acute 72 hour EC₅₀, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Algae - Chronic 96 hour NOEC, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Honeybees (Apis spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Unknown mode acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Mason bees (Osmia spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Other pollinators (1)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Other pollinators (2)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Earthworms - Acute 14 day LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Earthworms - Chronic NOEC, reproduction (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Other soil macro-organisms
Acute LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic NOEC (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Other arthropod (1)
LR₅₀ g ha⁻¹
- - -
% Effect
- - -
Other arthropod (2)
LR₅₀ g ha⁻¹
- - -
% Effect
- - -
Soil micro-organisms
- - -
Mesocosm study data
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
HUMAN HEALTH AND PROTECTION
General
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Threshold of Toxicological Concern (Cramer Class)
- - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
1288
P3 P = Other governments and regulators
3 = Unverified data of known source
Rat
Moderate
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
600
P4 P = Other governments and regulators
4 = Verified data
Rabbit
-
Mammals - Inhalation LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Other Mammal toxicity endpoints
- - -
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AAOEL - Acute Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
Dermal penetration studies (%)
- - -
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
- - -
Exposure Routes
Public
Negligible risk based on proposed pattern of use
Occupational
Minimal risk based on proposed pattern of use. PPC recommended
MRLs
European
EU MRL pesticide database 
Great Britain
GB MRL Register 
Notes
-
Drinking Water Standards
- - -
Drinking Water MAC (μg l⁻¹)
- - -
Health issues
Specific human health issues
Carcinogen
Genotoxic
Endocrine disruptor
XNo, known not to cause a problem
A0 A = Chromosome aberration (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
B0 B = DNA damage/repair (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
C0 C = Gene mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
D0 D = Genome mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
E0 E = Unspecified genotoxicity type (miscellaneous data source)
0 = No data
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Reproduction / development effects Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant
No data found
XNo, known not to cause a problem
No data found
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
Yes, known to cause a problem
Yes, known to cause a problem
XNo, known not to cause a problem
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
Yes, known to cause a problem
No data found  
General human health issues
May cause ulceration of oral tissues
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
Not explosive
Avoid contact with strong acids, alkalis and oxidising agents
Not expected to autoignite; Not highly flammable
CLP classification 2013
Health: H315, H319
EC Risk Classification
-
EC Safety Classification
-
WHO Classification
-
UN Number
None allocated
Waste disposal & packaging
-
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
sodium lauryl sulphate
French
-
German
-
Danish
-
Italian
-
Spanish
-
Greek
-
Polish
-
Swedish
-
Hungarian
-
Dutch
-

Record last updated: 12/08/2021
Contact: aeru@herts.ac.uk
Please cite as: Lewis, K.A., Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D. and Green, A. (2016) An international database for pesticide risk assessments and management. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 22(4), 1050-1064. DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2015.1133242