Trade association slams fragrance industry “smear”

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Claims that fragrance ingredients cause health problems have been slammed by industry trade organization, the International Fragrance Association (IFRA).

Allegations from the US-based Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC) that fragrance ingredients “…may cause cancer or fetal, or hormonal or reproductive toxicity​….,” drew an angry response from an IFRA spokesman.

Its president Jean-Pierre Houri said: “This is the third activist report in recent weeks to attempt to smear the fragrance industry with what we believe to be unfounded claims about the safety of fragrance ingredients and we find this unacceptable​.”

‘Inaccurate statements’ about IFRA Safety Programme

In addition to contesting activists’ claims of links between fragrance ingredients and health problems, CPC also made what IFRA described as “…inaccurate statements regarding the fragrance industry’s global IFRA Safety Program​….”

Houri underlined that the safety plan was designed and implemented to ensure the safe enjoyment of fragrances. It was not to "maintain the 'trade secret' status"​ of perfume and fragrance ingredients, as alleged by CPC.

Earlier this week, CPC chairman Samuel Epstein claimed that federal agencies are not regulating fragrance ingredients leaving the public at risk due to the “recklessly irresponsible​,” behaviour of the fragrance industry.

Public protection in the US would be enhanced by the passage of Senator Frank Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act of 2010, said Epstein. The bill requires manufacturers to provide information on “chemicals of concern​,” in consumer products.

Established in 1973, IFRA’s safety project involves the industry assessing the safety of materials and either banning them or setting so-called ‘Safe Use Levels’ based on the review of studies of their potential effects on people and the environment.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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