The Role Played by the RFIM and IRA in the Regulation of Fragrance Chemicals

The Role Played by the RFIM and IRA in the Regulation of Fragrance Chemicals

Over the years, the public has been informed about manufacturers’ use of chemicals to make all sorts of consumer products as pleasant smelling as they can be. The need to raise public awareness stemmed from reports that animal lab-testing results showed that certain fragrance chemicals increased risks of developing heart and respiratory diseases, cancer, as well as negatively impact the endocrine and reproductive systems. Nonetheless, international organizations like the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials and the International Fragrance Association are the active organizations working to establish the safety of the increasilnly growing number of fragrance chemicals.

How True are Reports that Fragrance Chemicals are Generally Safe for Humans

While it was explained that health risks are true only for large concentrations, consumer protection groups argue that everyday, whether at home or somewhere else, people are using personal care products, cleaning materials and even taking medicines, all containing fragrance chemicals. If combined and measured, the sum can be tantamount to large concentrations on a daily basis.

Besides, the claim that there is yet no body of evidence that actually links fragrance chemicals to impaired health conditions is in a way true. Mainly because tests and evaluations are conducted only laboratory animals.

How are Fragrance Chemicals Regulated if Their Use is Protected as a Trade Secret?

Although consumers are taking heed of warnings by paying greater attention to what are written on product labels, consumer groups assert that more should be done in regulating the use of fragrance chemicals. As it is, manufacturers can simply claim they are components of their trade secret, because the law allows manufacturers not to list dowm the secret chemical composition of their unique and distinct “fragrance.”

Actually, manufacturers determine the safety of fragrance chemicals based on the results of evaluations and assessments performed by international bodies, specifically the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and the International Fragrance Association (IFA).

Chemicals, which the RFIM found and deemed as hazardous to human health are then reported to the IFA, whose task is to issue standards for restricting or prohibiting the use of the fragrance chemical found and proven harmful.

The two international organizations help identify, which of the more than 4,000 chemicals used as components of fragrance are safe to use. It is then up to the manufacturers to comply with the standards developed by the IFA. The latter contends that the perfumery industry should be self-regulating when needing to protect their trade secret.

Currently, the general consensus is that perfume and personal care manufacturers in the US, Canada and in European Union member countries, rely on the evaluations conducted by the RIFM and the standards set by the IFA.

Xerjoff, the Italian manufacturer of nature-inspired fragrances provide information about the composition of their perfumes in terms of fragrance notes. A Xerjoff product that has recently been trending as a popular unisex perfume is Erba Pura (Pure Grass), a pleasing combination of bergamot, amber, orange, vanilla and musk. Perfumer Christian Carbonnel describes the fragrance as a fruity scent with a touch of oriental-like essence.

Readers can find more information about erba pura xerjoff perfume at the Essenza Nobile website.

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