SCCS has finalised its report on fragrance allergens in cosmetic products. The literature on fragrance allergy was interrogated to identify allergens relevant to consumers, in the context of a 1999 report from SCCNFP (Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products intended for Consumers) which identified a series of 26 well-known fragrance allergens for which information should be provided to consumers on their presence in cosmetic products. From clinical experience alone, 82 substances (including 28 natural extracts) were classified as “established contact allergens” in humans, with HICC (hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde) of particular interest, having been responsible for over 1500 reported cases of fragrance allergy since the 1999 report.

As part of its investigation, SCCS evaluated available relevant dose-response data and suggested that thresholds based on elicitation levels in sensitised individuals would be sufficiently low to protect both non-sensitised and sensitised individuals against allergy or allergic responses. It was not, however, possible to derive such levels for individual chemicals due to limited human data. Instead, a general exposure limit of 0.8 μg/cm2 (0.01% in cosmetic products) was proposed, thought to be sufficiently protective for the majority of allergic consumers. For chloroatranol and atranol (the main allergenic constituents of oakmoss and treemoss extracts), and HICC, any level of continued exposure was considered to be unsafe, and it was recommended that these allergens be eliminated from consumer products.

Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. Opinion on fragrance allergens in cosmetic products. SCCS/1459/11. The SCCS adopted this opinion at its 15th plenary meeting of 26-27 June 2012.


The above item was taken from the September 2012 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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