Most Popular in:


Email This Item! Print This Item!

Chemical Reaction: A Deep Breath

By: Steve Herman
Posted: December 10, 2008

page 4 of 4

One of the early tests involved an aerosol spray of the surrogate fragrance. It was determined that a valid test result could be derived from a 30-minute exposure to an air freshener under residential use.3 A recent test studied the effect of fragrance on moderate asthmatics, and found no adverse effect caused by fragrance exposure. Since allergic responses in the lungs elicit similar responses to those on the skin, the IgE-6—an immunoglobulin that elicits an immune response—is one example of the markers for respiratory reactions in future clinical studies.4

The evolution in fragrance safety protocols has been RIFM’s response to changing demands, and it has far exceeded the pace of change in the past.

Fortunately, the situation should become more stable in the near future. There will always be updates and amendments, but the programs in place should provide a basic scaffolding for the foreseeable future. The fragrance industry has a long and honorable history of self regulation. When outside forces created new challenges, RIFM and the industry rose to the challenge. Yes, there are a lot of new acronyms and the science is demanding, but it is the symbol of progress and it will serve us well in the future.


  1. RA Ford, et al., Criteria for Development of a Database for Safety Evaluation of Fragrance Ingredients, Reg Tox Pharm 31 166–181 (2000)
  2. DT Salvito, et al., A framework for Prioritizing Fragrance Materials for Aquatic Risk Assessment, Env Tox Chem 21 (6) 1301–1308 (2002)
  3. RE Rogers, et al., Simulated Inhalation levels of Fragrance Materials in a Surrogate Air Freshener Formulation, Env Sci & Tech 39 (20) (2005)
  4. D Isola, et al., Chemical Respiratory Allergy and Occupational Asthma: What Are the Key Areas of Uncertainty?, J Appl Toxicol 28 249–253 (2008)

Steve Herman is the technical sales director for J&E Sozio. He has been an adjunct professor in the Fairleigh Dickinson University Masters in Cosmetic Science program since 1993, teaching Cosmetic Formulation Lab and Perfumery. His book, Fragrance Applications: A Survival Guide, was published by Allured Business Media, Carol Stream, IL, in 2001. He has served as chairman of the SCC’s New York chapter, and was elected to fellow status in 2002.