International Fragrance Association Refutes Activists' Claims of Link Between Health Problems and Fragrance Ingredients

Jun 30, 2010, 07:42 ET from IFRA

BRUSSELS, June 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A statement has been published by US-based activist organization, the Cancer Prevention Coalition, which IFRA (International Fragrance Association) believe to be misleading.

The press release suggests links between fragrance ingredients and health problems, which IFRA strongly contest. It also makes what IFRA believe to be inaccurate statements regarding the fragrance industry's global IFRA Safety Program, designed and implemented to ensure the safe enjoyment of fragrances.

"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," says Jean-Pierre Houri, President of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA).

IFRA set up a global safety program as long ago as 1973. This program 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. It is a voluntary program and a very strict one. IFRA regulates more materials than any regulatory or governmental body in the world. IFRA can do this because as well as caring about the art of fragrance creation, they also care about the science. The scientific program led by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) has been active since 1966.

If the established processes identify a material that could be of concern it is reviewed by an independent Expert Panel. For most of the materials, the safety review is showing no concern and therefore no risk management measurement becomes necessary - thus the number of materials on which IFRA has set restrictions is much lower than those in use. We believe that any action needs to be comprehensive and timely to ensure the continued safe enjoyment of fragrances and IFRA can often act faster than governmental bodies.

IFRA refute what they perceive to be scaremongering claims made in the press release by Dr Epstein and believe they undermine the well established and worldwide respected IFRA Safety Program and the scientific research done by RIFM.

For a full statement on the Epstein press release go to

Epstein press release: