Safety & Regulatory Issues Symposium
13th March 2008
Around fifty delegates met for our fourth Safety Symposium. The programme of lectures began with Tony Dweck, who talked about some of the more dangerous plants and the possible effects of using them – just because something is natural, does not necessarily mean it is safe. Alan Osbiston then reviewed his talk about the shrinking perfumer’s pallet, which is not so much due to the legislation itself, but more reaction to the legislation, or overreaction to it – the allergens and CHIP for example are labelling requirements, but many customers ask us to modify the fragrance because they do not want to have to label the product. However Alan made an interesting point that it has been found that perfumers like to use only 220 materials, 80% of the time. I guess it depends what fragrance we are asked to make! The figure rises to using 600 materials 95% of the time. Alan pointed out that it is really a cause for concern when it is our “core” materials that are at risk. IFRA of course addresses specific safety concerns, and the 42nd amendment has 28 new and revised standards and the new quantitative risk assessment (or Q.R.A.) system. Then Alan brought up the topic that was to dominate most of the day’s events, REACH.
Christeine Lally from P&G spoke about REACH and what it means for the consumer. Hopefully it will mean a renewed confidence in chemicals – because the safety testing will have been done and data gaps will have been filled. The negatives are the huge amounts of work and the costs involved. It is hoped that the REACH legislation will not result in a big reduction in products available but of course that remains to be seen.
Matthias Vey from IFRA spoke more about the QRA and its sound scientific principles, looking at the REAL exposure levels to fragrance on different areas of the body. Whereas the new 11 category system may be a little more complicated than we are used to, Matthias explained there could have been many more categories, so this represents a workable compromise, while not compromising on safety, and at the end of the day, we all want to be confident about producing safe products.
Tim Jessel from REACH Ready spoke further about REACH, and how the procedures should be followed for pre-registration, formation of “SIEF’s” (Substance Information Exchange Forum) for data-sharing activities followed by industry Consortia for joint registration of ingredients. This was the theory, but then the practical reality of dealing with REACH was spoken about by Joris Theewis from IFF and this was somewhat reassuring. Joris says ALL ingredients that IFF manufacture will be pre-registered, and there are already two full-time employees coping with the preparations. Data is already being submitted and consortia are already being formed. He says inevitably, a few ingredients, where the same fragrance note can be achieved using something else, it would not be commercial to register both materials and so a few ingredients may be lost this way but he does not think it will apply to many. So all in all, quite a positive end to the day and an extremely informative set of lectures.
Some useful websites:
|Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy (lots of information particularly about safety of natural ingredients):||http://atlanticinstitute.com|
|International Fragrance Association (IFRA)||http://www.ifraorg.org|
|Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM)||http://www.rifm.org|
|European Flavour & Fragrance Association (EFFA)||http://www.effa.be|
|For REACH guidance||http://reach.jrc.it|
|European Chemicals Agency (Helsinki) ECHA||http://echa.europa.eu|
|European Chemicals Bureau||http://ecb.jrc.it|
This report is the writer’s interpretation of the event. It is not intended as a verbatim account and should not be read as such.
© Copyright British Society of Perfumers 2008