What do the New EU regulations on Fragrance Allergens Say?
Fragrance substances, in addition to providing a pleasant odor, can cause allergies because they are made up of various types of chemicals and are commonly used in perfumes, cosmetic products, as well as other household products such as detergents, candles, and fabric softeners.
The individual must be aware of the products that include these kinds of substances to avoid contact allergies because, whenever a person is already sensitized to an allergen, a much lower concentration of it is sufficient to cause allergy symptoms. In the European Union, 1–9% of the population is thought to be allergic to fragrance allergens. This means that a contact allergy to fragrance substances could affect millions of people in the EU. Therefore, limiting exposure to fragrance allergens may be sufficient for primary prevention.
Information on specific fragrance allergens present in these kinds of products should be made available as a secondary prevention measure, as highly sensitive individuals may develop symptoms of allergies even when they are exposed to extremely low concentrations of allergens.
Several measures can be taken to protect consumers from fragrance allergens. These include:
– Limiting the inclusion of fragrance-related allergens.
– Requiring fragrance allergens to be listed on product labels.
– Informing consumers on how to avoid fragrance allergens.
To safeguard consumers from fragrance allergens, the European Union has taken a number of actions. The EU adopted a cosmetic product regulation in 2009 that requires cosmetic products to be labeled with the presence of 24 fragrance allergens that were identified at the time. Citrus Aurantium Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Peel Oil, Citrus Limon Peel Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus Oil, Jasmine Oil/Extract, Juniperus Virginiana Oil, and other 56 fragrance allergens have now been added to the updated list.
Other significant changes in the new regulation include:
– To make it easier for customers to understand the product’s composition before using it, fragrance allergens must be listed by their common name rather than their chemical name.
– The threshold concentration for fragrance allergens has been reduced from 0.01% to 0.001%. As a result, even slightly elevated levels of fragrance allergens must be labeled on the products.
– It will be necessary to modify product formulations and containers for cosmetic manufacturers and beauty brands. While new cosmetic products must comply with these labels by July 31, 2026, existing cosmetic products that were put on the market before the new regulations went into effect can still be sold until July 26, 2028.
Also, the law mandates cosmetic product labeling, which is a crucial step in shielding consumers from these allergens.
The new EU rule on fragrance allergens is a significant improvement in safeguarding consumers from these allergens. These changes will make it easier for consumers to avoid products containing fragrance allergens and prevent the development of allergic contact dermatitis. It will be interesting to see how the industry responds to the law and what kind of changes happen.