1. Health and Wellness

Is Bronopol safe for humans?

Bronopol was first introduced in 1971 as a chemical formula to control bacteria, molds,  and slime. As an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent, it was used widely for industrial applications. It is an effective treatment for an environmental and industrial water system. The application of bronopol helps to control corrosion problems and bacterial growth.

Bronopol became much popular when it was included in the manufacturing of consumer goods such as cosmetics and shampoo.

Why bronopol is harmful

Due to the toxic properties of bronopol, its use is limited in some country including Canada. Even where it is not legally restricted its use has been lowered because of the possibility of converting to nitrosamine as bronopol degrades. We still get exposed to bronopol because it is used in pharmaceuticals and several industries leaching this chemical into the environment.

Exposure to bronopol should not be taken lightly. Health conditions resulting from exposure to bronopol needs urgent care and attention from your Doctor. Some of the effects of bronopol exposure may include:

Skin irritation and redness 

Bronopol is toxic to your entire body but can visibly manifest on the skin by causing irritation and filled with red patches. 

Bronopol is not friendly to your organs

The toxicity of bronopol can affect vital organs such as the liver and kidneys and stomach. What is concerning is the long term exposure to small quantities which will not produce any noticeable side effects early on.

It affects the eyes

Direct exposure to bronopol may cause a series of problems for the eyes. It may cause redness of the eyes and may ultimately lead to blindness. 

It is Bad For Your Respiratory System

Bronopol can also cause your respiratory system to be irritated and causing possible infections.

How does bronopol end up in a product 

Bronopol is an intentional ingredient in many industrial and environmental products. It is intentionally added to products to purify water, cleanse the environment. It may also be found in some skincare and personal care items in small amounts.

What is bronopol found in?

Bronopol can be found in the following products today.

  • Detergents and cleaning products
  • Kitty Litter
  • Cosmetics such as eyebrow pencils and makeup
  • Nail Polish
  • Adhesives
  • Chemicals used in agriculture

You can also find bronopol (in trace amount) in skincare and personal care products like cosmetics, baby lotion, eyeliner, perfumes, face masks, shaving creams, hair dyes, deodorants,  skin creams, shampoo, sunscreen, blushes, gels, baby wipes, bubble bath, topical medicines, and powder. 

How to recognize it on labels

Check the label of your product, or you can check through the list of ingredients to find out if the product you are buying contains bronopol. Trade names for bactericides containing bronopol include Onyxide 500, Brolly, Bronco,  and, Bronotak. You can also check for these names on a label.

  • 2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol
  • beta-Bromo-beta-nitrotrimethyleneglycol Germall® 11
  • 2-Nitro-2-bromo-1,3-propanediol
  • Ingredients starting with ‘brono’ such as bronidiol, or bronopol
  • Lexgard bronopol
  • Onyxide 500
  • HSDB 7195
  • NSC 141021


Bronopol is just another example of an obscure ingredient added to your product to increase the shelf life. It adds no health value and can create health issues. The single most important action a consumer can take is to read the labels and understand the ingredients.

Avoid cosmetics with bronopol