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Fragrance Safety and Evaluation

By: Matthias Vey
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the September 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

The big regulatory story in 2008 continues to be REACH legislation in Europe. REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances) came into force July 1, 2007, and June 1, 2008, saw the start of pre-registration of substances.

The European Flavour and Fragrance Association (EFFA), a member of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), has been busy helping to set up (pre-)consortia, approximately 20 thus far, to help the industry organize itself and (pre-)register substances on time.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the organization responsible for managing REACH, is now open for business in Helsinki, Finland. Unsurprisingly, there have been some issues in ramping up to serve an influx of registrations, with various software programs not being ready and some procedural glitches. However, pre-registration of substances is taking place as planned, and will continue until the deadline of Dec. 1, 2008.

The fragrance industry was one of the first sectors to respond to the demands of REACH and to get organized. This came naturally to an industry that has been regulating itself for more than 30 years through the IFRA Code of Practice, IFRA Standards and the more recently added compliance program.

Regularly Updated Standards

The IFRA Standards form the basis for the globally accepted and recognized risk management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients and are part of the IFRA Code of Practice. IFRA announced the 43rd Amendment to the IFRA Code of Practice in July of this year. This amendment relates to a total of 60 standards, eight of which are new standards based on IFRA’s new Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA); 26 remain unchanged—though the format in which they are presented has changed—and another 26 are related to materials with pre-existing standards that required updating.