Ingredient Database

ToxicFree Foundation / Ingredient Database / SD Alcohol 40B
    Type in the name of an ingredient to learn how it has been rated by ToxicFree Foundation
    Reality Check!

    SD Alcohol 40B

    SD Alcohol 40B

    SD Alcohol 40B

    What is it?

    SD Alcohol 40B (Specially Denatured Alcohol), which is denatured with tert-Butyl alcohol, is the mostly widely recognized SDA formula worldwide.     

    All SD alcohols are named such due to the Denaturant used in them which is intended to make the alcohol undrinkable as it will make a person ill intentionally. 

    The Denaturant varies by the alcohol number, so 40B uses tert-Butyl alcohol while 39C uses Diethyl phthalate, 38B used Essential oils and is only for oral care products, etc.

    40-B has the least amount of denaturants used in comparison to all other SDA formulas.

    40-B is denatured with tert-Butyl alcohol or t-Butyl Alcohol.  tert-Butyl alcohol is a clear liquid (or a colorless solid, depending on the ambient temperature) with a camphor-like odor. It is very soluble in water and miscible with ethanol and diethyl ether.

    Key Information

    • Used in cosmetics and personal care to decrease the 'dry down' time of a product

    More Information

    Specially denatured (SD) alcohol is a mixture of ethanol with a denaturing agent. Ethanol is considered broadly toxic and linked to birth defects following excessive oral ingestion.

    Potential risks from ethanol in personal care products are significantly smaller than the health risks posed by the consumption of alcohol.

    From C.I.R. on SD 40B


    Denatured alcohols, in the United States, must conform to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) specifications for completely and specially denatured alcohol found in 27CFR2l.

    Table 1 lists the specifications for those denatured alcohols in this safety assessment—those denaturants in bold type have been previously considered by the CIR Expert Panel, with the following conclusions:

    t-Butyl Alcohol—safe as used in cosmetic products (Andersen 2005a);

    The denaturants noted above will not be discussed further in this safety assessment. The safety of Alcohol Denat. and the SD Alcohols containing these ingredients may be inferred.


    This ingredient is commonly used in: