Fragrance ingredient exposure is orders of magnitude below thresholds of concern, study shows
A paper published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology reveals consumer exposure to fragrance to be extremely low
Mahwah, NJ. The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc. (RIFM), in collaboration with scientific modeling, data analytics, and computing company Creme Global, compared the fragrance exposure of the highest-end product users to the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) and Dermal Sensitization Threshold (DST) to determine a realistic understanding of consumer exposure to fragrance. The TTC is based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Threshold of Regulation, which it expands upon to include consideration of an ingredient’s molecular structure in conjunction with its toxicity data. The TTC approach is internationally recognized by regulators including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The study authors compared exposure to the approximately 3,000 in-use fragrance-producing ingredients to their respective TTCs and DSTs. Representative fragrance ingredients were randomly selected and analyzed for exposure distribution by product type (i.e., personal, household, oral, and air care) and route of exposure. Exposure calculations were performed by the Creme-RIFM Aggregate Exposure model, which provides realistic exposure estimates that consider all fragrances the population is exposed to across all products used.
(Read the published paper https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2024.105569.)
The study’s lead author, Isabelle Lee, Ph.D., Senior Scientist of Dermatotoxicology at RIFM, explained, “We found that 76% of fragrance-producing ingredients fall below their TTC levels when compared to the systemic exposure experienced by the highest-end users, while 99% of fragrance ingredients are below inhalation exposure TTC levels.”
Paper co-author Anne Marie Api, PhD, RIFM’s president, explained, “It may seem there is a lot of an ingredient in a product because our nose tells us it’s there. But our olfactory sense is far better than most realize. We can easily detect something at concentrations of parts per million and, in many cases, parts per billion. Thus, very little fragrance is required to impart a desired scent.”
RIFM assesses the safety of fragrance ingredients by the most current, internationally accepted guidelines—and has done so since its founding in 1966. RIFM’s peer-reviewed safety assessments and research are free to the public via fragrancematerialsafetyresource.elsevier.com.
The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc. (RIFM)
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