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Benzotriazoles (BZTs)

Nasty Ingredients
Benzotriazoles (BZTs)

Benzotriazoles (BZTs)

Benzotriazoles (BZTs) are petrochemical-derived ingredients which are used for many functions, including anticorrosion in cleaners and UV stabilising in plastics. BZTs have been shown to persist in the environment, leading to contamination and pollution concerns. We prefer to leave them out of our products.

BZTs such as 1,2,3-Benzotriazole usually appear as a white odourless powder. In dishwasher detergents, these compounds are often added to prevent corrosion or rust, which can occur from the introduction of oxygen-based bleaches to the moist environment. Though potential for direct human exposure is typically limited, they can cause eye irritation or harm if inhaled. A 2021 study investigated the use of BZTs in everyday plastics as UV stabilisers, and found their endocrine-disrupting potential to be a cause for concern. The low biodegradability of BZTs and toxicity to aquatic life is also a main point of concern, as they are often not removed during wastewater treatment. A 2015 study concluded they should be ‘considered contaminants of emerging concern in the environment with persistent-organic-pollutant-like characteristics.’

Other names: C6H5N3, BTA, 1H-Benzotriazole

Chemical class: Heterocyclic Compounds


Sakuragi, Y., Takada, H., Sato, H., Kubota, A., Terasaki, M., Takeuchi, S., Ikeda-Araki, A., Watanabe, Y., Kitamura, S., & Kojima, H. (2021). An analytical survey of benzotriazole UV stabilizers in plastic products and their endocrine-disrupting potential via human estrogen and androgen receptors. The Science of the total environment, 800, 149374. Advance online publication.

Mark G. Cantwell, Julia C. Sullivan, Robert M. Burgess. Chapter 16 - Benzotriazoles: History, Environmental Distribution, and Potential Ecological Effects. Editor(s): Eddy Y. Zeng. Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry, Elsevier, Volume 67, 2015, Pages 513-545, ISSN 0166-526X, ISBN 9780444632999,

National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 7220, 1H-Benzotriazole. Retrieved October 1, 2021 from

INCI Name:
Ingredient origins:
Anti-Corrosion Additive
Common name:
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.
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