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Purity Grades

 
Chemical ingredients can be graded based on their purity and quality. Purity standards are set by various organizations such as the ASTM (American Society of the International Association for Testing and Materials), the American Chemical Society or other organizations. Chemical substances with the highest purity grades are being used primarily in chemical analysis, chemical reactions, or physical testing. Ingredients used for cosmetic products can be ungraded, have technical grades or even pharmacopoeia grades. Please note that there is no 'Cosmetic Grade'.
 
Purity Grade   Description   Use
         
ACS Grade   Highest purity; often equals or exceeds the latest purity standards set by the American Chemical Society (ACS). This is the only universally accepted standard. Chemicals are of the highest purity attainable.   Suitable for chemical procedures requiring stringent quality specifications such as analytical testing.
         
Reagent Grade   Purity is generally equal to ACS grade.   Suitable for use in many laboratory and analytical applications including life science applications (biotechnology and molecular biology).
         
Pharmacopoeia Grade   A grade of sufficient purity to meet or exceed requirements by the US Pharmacopoeia (USP) or the National Formulary (NF). Analogous standards are BP (British Pharmacopoeia), and Ph.Eur (European Pharmacopoeia).   Suitable for food, drug, or medicinal use. USP and NF are the official standards for all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, excipients and other healthcare products manufactured and sold in the US.
         
Food / FCC Grade   Products meet the strength specifications and maximum impurity limit indicated in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) which is an internationally recognized purity and quality standard.   Suitable for food and cosmetics.
         
Lab Grade   A chemical grade of relatively high quality but does not meet official standards. Exact levels of impurities are unknown.   Suitable for educational applications. Not pure enough to be used for food, drug, or medicinal use of any kind.
         
Technical Grade   Good quality chemical grade used for many commercial and industrial purposes.   Suitable as raw materials for cosmetic production and other non-medical industrial applications. Not suitable for food and pharmaceutical applications.
         
Ungraded   Purity level has not been determined and a certificate of analysis may not be available. But based on the production and purification method a good quality grade is usually still anticipated.   Suitable as raw materials for cosmetic production and other non-medical industrial applications. Not suitable for food and pharmaceutical applications.