Safety assurance: IFRA overhauls ingredient safety standards based on new methodology

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

IFRA Standards updated with an improved methodology to assess skin sensitizers and account for aggregate exposure. ©GettyImages
IFRA Standards updated with an improved methodology to assess skin sensitizers and account for aggregate exposure. ©GettyImages

Related tags Fragrance Regulation Ifra

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has updated IFRA Standards with an improved methodology to assess skin sensitizers and account for aggregate exposure.

Companies who are supplied by IFRA members will work with fragrance houses to reformulate existing fragrance creations where necessary and ensure that new creations comply with the rules.

They will have until 10 February 2021 to comply with the new standards for new fragrance creations and until 10 February 2022 for existing creations.

The IFRA Standards are the association’s flagship safe use program. It applies safety management measures based on scientific assessment and the evaluations of an independent expert panel.

“The Standards set rigorous, comprehensive and global rules based on scientific evidence and consumer insights and are subject to independent oversight,” ​said IFRA President Martina Bianchini.

“We want consumers to continue to enjoy fragranced products with confidence. The IFRA Standards are our contribution to setting an industry-wide global framework and guidance for every manufacturer and compounder to follow. This boosts transparency while ensuring there is space for creativity and innovation.”

According to IFRA, the latest amendments represent the “most significant change to the Standards in many years.”

QRA2 update

The latest update, known formally as the ‘Notification of the 49th Amendment to the IFRA Code of Practice’, are derived from a new safety assessment approach.

David O’Leary, IFRA communications director told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the association responded to requests from regulators for an improved methodology to assess dermal sensitization.

The new standards for dermal sensitization are based on a new assessment methodology, known as Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA2).

“As a responsible industry, we acted by joining a project with dermatologists, academics, regulators and other stakeholders to offer an enhanced approach,” ​said O’Leary.

The updated standards also look at aggregate exposure of fragrance ingredients.

“A key part of this improvement is the consideration of aggregate exposure – the way in which a range of different products is used together on the same part of the body. We have used a database of real-life use statistics to understand how people use fragrance products and to set rules to make sure they can continue to use them safely,” ​O’Leary explained.

The new standards were developed over several years with personal care companies, including those in Asia Pacific, throughout the process of developing the new standards.

Fundamentally, he said that the changes would not affect things from a consumer perspective.

“Consumers will continue to be able to buy their favourite fragranced products and enjoy them with confidence. The changes reflect new data, new methodologies and new product types and the updated rules inform consumer goods companies to also amend their products according to the updated rules.”

Moving forward, IFRA will continue to provide the training and support to member consumer good companies so they will be able to implement the standards correctly.

O’Leary concluded: “We see fragrance as a safe and essential part of life and want to ensure that people can enjoy fragrance with confidence. We, therefore, work continually with our partners in the industry and beyond to ensure the risk assessment approach, which is the basis for our risk management, reflects the latest scientific developments and methodologies.”

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