The EU Fragrance Allergens

Jun 1, 2012 | Contact Author | By: David C. Steinberg, Steinberg Consultants
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Title: The EU Fragrance Allergens
fragrancesx allergensx European Unionx essential oilsx scientific committeex
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Keywords: fragrances | allergens | European Union | essential oils | scientific committee

Abstract: On March 11, 2003, the European Union (EU) published the 7th Amendment to its Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC. Among the changes was the addition of the 26 popular fragrance ingredients to the Annex III “List of Substances Which Cosmetic Products Must Not Contain Except Subject to the Restrictions Laid Down.” These are now commonly referred to as the EU Fragrance Allergens.

Market Data

  • Research points to fruity notes being popular in beauty products in the near future.
  • Younger consumers name scent as a top attribute when selecting bath and body products.
  • Passionfruit, acai and tomato are are expected to be the biggest beauty ingredients and fragrance players in the near future.
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The European Union (EU) began reviewing the safety of fragrance ingredients used in cosmetics in the late 1990s. This came from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) pressuring for the 100% safety of all ingredients. This mandate was given to the EU Commission and in turn was assigned to the scientific advisory committee. The committee’s response was to recommend that the EU prohibit some ingredients and restrict others. It came out with a list of 26 ingredients mostly found in fragrances and essential oils that, if present at certain levels or higher, must be listed as part of the product’s ingredient listing. The listing of these 26 allergens was intended to alert customers of their presence so they can avoid using the product if they are allergic to those chemicals. This has only made ingredient listings more complex; in fact, some marketers have tried to avoid using these ingredients or essential oils in their fragrances. However, few have been successful since these 26 ingredients include the most popular fragrance components.

On March 11, 2003, the EU published the 7th Amendment to its Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC. Among the changes was the addition of the 26 popular fragrance ingredients to the Annex III “List of Substances Which Cosmetic Products Must Not Contain Except Subject to the Restrictions Laid Down.” These are now commonly referred to as the EU Fragrance Allergens.

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This is an excerpt of an article from GCI Magazine. The full version can be found here.

 

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Table 1. Most frequently recognized contact allergens

Table 1. Most frequently recognized contact allergens

Table 2. The 26 allergens required to be listed if present in a cosmetic

Table 2. The 26 allergens required to be listed if present in a cosmetic

Table 3. The 25 most commonly used essential oils according to the FDA’s voluntary registration program

Table 3. The 25 most commonly used essential oils according to the FDA’s voluntary registration program

Table 4. SCCS suggestions for additional allergens that should appear on the ingredient list

Table 4. SCCS suggestions for additional allergens that should appear on the ingredient list

Biography: David C. Steinberg, Steinberg & Associates

David C. Steinberg founded Steinberg & Associates, a consulting firm based in Plainsboro, NJ, USA, in 1995. Co-founder of the graduate program in cosmetic sciences at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he lectured for 18 years on cosmetic chemistry, Steinberg has more than 35 years of experience in marketing, technical service and regulatory affairs in the personal care industry. In addition, he was president of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists in 1991. Steinberg is a frequent speaker worldwide on cosmetic regulations and preservation as well as sunscreen and cosmetic ingredient chemistry. In 2009, he was honored as the first regulatory expert in personal care to be granted fellow status by the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society. He wrote the Alluredbook, Preservatives for Cosmetics, Third Edition. 

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