IFRA-49 regulations

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dibbles

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This thread really made me start thinking about what I will do in May when the new IFRA regulations for maximum usage rate go into effect. Of course some will remain safe at the current usage rate, but some will have a reduced usage rate which might not be to my liking and some will no longer be considered skin safe at all.

First I want to say I don't sell, but if I did I would without question adhere to the IFRA guidelines for safe usage rate. Since Bramble Berry is a vendor that has been updating their fragrance oils with the new usage rates available, and Midnight Waters is a fragrance oil that will dramatically change, let's look at that one as an example. Currently Midnight Waters has a usage rate of 5%, which will change to .4% - a huge difference. I've used that FO at 5% with no problems to anyone that I am aware of. Do I continue to use it at that rate until it's gone? Knowing that the usage rate will change, can I really feel good about making and using/gifting any more soap with that FO, even though technically it is still considered to be skin safe right now.

I have a LOT of fragrance oils. Going forward I will only purchase FOs that are approved at a 5% usage rate or higher under the new regulations. But that doesn't help with the dilemma of what to do with the ones that I already have that will no longer be usable (or are they). I, of course, don't really know how many will be completely unusable.

I'm just curious if any of you have been thinking about this, and what your views are. I think I'm going to have to learn to make wax melts, which I fear will be another deep rabbit hole.
 
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Here’s what I’ve learned about the IFRA standards and other regulations.

According to this technical document, when data are available, IFRA determines lowest maximum acceptable exposure level to a fragrance component based on systemic toxicity, dermal sensitization or other endpoints. The standards take into account how the products are being used, for example, lotion versus soap and expected frequency of use.

If a new usage rate is based on the presence of carcinogenic compounds in an FO, the guidelines will help to reduce risk of adverse effects by reducing the level of exposure over time. I think that we all know that toxicity testing often uses dosages that are much higher than those we would experience in normal use, but also that the risk of developing cancer goes up with the level, duration and route of exposure to a carcinogen, mediated by genetic factors, age (which affects ability to repair cell damage), overall health, etc.

I doubt that suppliers are going to tell us why the usage rate for a particular FO has been lowered. That leaves us with the data sheets, assuming they’re available. For Midnight Waters, the data sheets on the BB website provide a list of allergens that are “most likely to cause skin sensitivity” as well as California Prop 65 carcinogen ingredients, specifically styrene and beta-myrcene that were previously banned as flavor components in food. The US FDA explains here that some bans “are a matter of law.” “… the FDA cannot find as safe; i.e., cannot approve, the use of any food additive that has been found to induce cancer in humans or animals at any dose.” Some might view bans as over protective, while others see them as protective of cumulative effects over time.

I guess I will be using part of the winter break to check my FO usage rates against the new standards. I currently use some EOs that have very low usage rates, but only in blends that have reasonable usage rates as calculated by EOcalc. Blending might be a way to extend the use of favorite FOs that have lowered usage rates, but there would be some work Involved to get it right.
 

TheGecko

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The IFRA is NOT "law"...nobody from the IFRA is going to arrest me or fine me if I use XYZ FO at 5% instead of new 2.6%. It's a "club", and if you want to be a member of the "club", you have to follow the rules of the "club" (see ifra-code-of-practice).

Now it's not to say that it's not a "club" without any clout, the IFRA is recognized by many government authorities. An example can be found when the European Commission in 2017 banned the use of three molecules in perfumery based on concerns by the IFRA that they could cause skins in 1% to 3% of the EU population. In other words, because of something could, not would for sure...affect a very small number of people, that use a product containing that particular molecule, no one can use it. And since 80-90% of the perfume industry are members of the IFRA...that means no one else in the world can either.

Now I'm not a total rebel...I wear my seatbelt, I come to a complete stop at STOP signs...even in the middle of frickin' nowhere, but I'm not a sheep either. I honestly care about the products that I sell, I use good manufacturing processes, I have a couple of customers (old friends) that I made custom soaps for because they have skin sensitives, blah blah blah, but I've seen a crap load of waffling back and forth over the last 40+ on "this is bad", no "that is bad, this is now good" and yeah, I get it...the science can change as new technologies emerge and we have access to new information. But on the flip side...just because a large amount XYZ shot into a small rat causes cancer, doesn't mean that XYZ is going to cause cancer in humans. The human body is amazing and filters out and repairs itself on a daily bases.

As I said earlier...I think it's a bunch of male bovine excrement, but I will do the research.
 

dibbles

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@TheGecko I understand what you are saying and, since I don’t sell, I feel like using past experience and common sense for my own use will be fine. I will adhere to the new guidelines and will only buy fragrance oils with a safe usage rate in the % I like to use. I have decided I will not use fragrances (even now) that are changing to very low usage rates. I do wonder, for those that sell if this will affect insurance coverage if IFRA rates are exceeded. I don’t know as it’s not something I’ve ever looked into.
 
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Guess I'm glad I have very few fragrance oils, mostly use EOs at no more than the maximum rates. I like the idea of blending for folks with excess FOs on hand.
I don't know the background for the changes. Just wondering out loud, if it was ok to use these fragrances before, why is it now considered dangerous? Did new research find problems we didn't know about before? As someone who is allergic to a lot of things, I don't want to take a chance on harming myself or others.
 

paradisi

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For a view into how cynical IFRA are about fragrance, Procter & Gamble, who are major IFRA funders & manufacturers of synthetic aroma chemicals, have a big splash on their website about how supremely safe their own fragrances are, with a huge sad idiotic list of things they don't use in their fragrances, many of which have never been used in fragrance nor have any fragrance use, but have scary names or are otherwise "bad":

Fragrance Ingredients

"Fragrance Ingredients
You will see that we do not use many common food allergens in our fragrances, including Animal Derived Materials, Egg Derivatives, Milk Derivatives, Gluten, Barley, Rye, Soy Derivatives, Fish or Shellfish" .. they also note they never use ox blood as a fragrance material. 🙄 Neither does anyone else, afaik. But fear sells.

That level of fearmongering and anti-scientific nonsense from folks behind IFRA is alarming. That's who supposedly are telling us truthfully what is and isn't safe? Yikes.
 

SirSoapsAlot

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Guess I'm glad I have very few fragrance oils, mostly use EOs at no more than the maximum rates. I like the idea of blending for folks with excess FOs on hand.
I don't know the background for the changes. Just wondering out loud, if it was ok to use these fragrances before, why is it now considered dangerous? Did new research find problems we didn't know about before? As someone who is allergic to a lot of things, I don't want to take a chance on harming myself or others.
They have been updating on EO's as well.
 
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When I buy a fragrance, I write down the IFRA % usage rate in a spreadsheet, along with other notes (vanillin, behavior...), and use that going forward. I plan to follow that until I use up a fragrance and will not buy it again if it is no longer soap safe. I do not make candles so I do not have much use for them outside of soap and lotions, but I suppose I can make wax melts or something like that. Like you, I do not sell for the most part. I wish there were clear instructions from the IFRA on what to do with existing fragrances, sort of a recall or specific instructions on what to do with items already in consumer hands. But without that, and considering that soaps are a wash off product, I am not very concerned about it (for now). The only thing I found was the below link, it is the SOP (standard operating instructions) for the new amendment, for the manufacturer's of the fragrances, and for they to notify their clients and work on making a new version of products affected (and it seems they are given 14 months to complete that).
I started typing this when you first posted the thread and I see there are new messages posted now, so I will go read them now.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I wrote the following in a post back in 2019 in regards to IFRA'a usage rates, and I have not changed my mind:

This is just me, but I personally don't give a whole lot of weight to IFRA's safe usage rates.....at least not since reading through my Essential Oil Safety book by Tisserand and Young. They have a few carefully chosen words to say about how IFRA is structured and how it goes about coming up with their 'safe' recommendations, some of which they strongly disagree with in their book and explain their reasons why. A tad bit too "sketchy" for me to want to give their (IFRA's) recommendations the full weight of salt that I used to. I understand that those in the EU have to abide by their recommendations, but I am very glad that the US has not adopted them as law here.

I stay within the vendor max use recommendations, most times needing to use only a fraction of the recommended maximum. For what it's worth, it's very rare that I ever go as high as 1 oz ppo. Between .3 oz ppo to .8 oz ppo is my usual range, depending on the FO. If any particular FO cannot 'make the cut' as they say, I mark it off my list of keeper FOs and don't ever buy it again.



IrishLass :)
 

cerelife

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When I first started soaping, it was pretty much just 0.5 to 1oz ppo for FO depending on the scent/your preference. Maybe I was just living under a rock, but IFRA standards weren't really a big deal in the soaping community until less than a decade ago. When vendors starting posting using rates, I adhered to them although soapers I know IRL (who sell) considered the guidelines rubbish. While I didn't disagree with the general consensus of "I've used this FO for years and it's never hurt anyone at my usage rate.", I chose to adhere to the IFRA guidelines and I will continue to do so with future purchases.
However - for the multitude of FO that I currently have in stock (some in multiple pounds) - I will continue to use these at the IFRA usage rate at the time of purchase.
 

TheGecko

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I wrote the following in a post back in 2019 in regards to IFRA'a usage rates, and I have not changed my mind:

I understand that those in the EU have to abide by their recommendations, but I am very glad that the US has not adopted them as law here.

Actually, they don’t. As I noted previously, the IFRA is a “club”…a guild or a forum if you will. IF you want to be a member of the club (or guild or forum), you have to abide by its rules, but it’s not a governing body, it can’t make law, not even in the country that it is headquartered in. But, as also noted, and exemplified here by those who say they will abide by their “guidelines”…they have some clout. Which led to the European Commission, who does have the authority to make law, banning the molecules based on what the IFRA “recommended”. But as noted in the article @Mobjack Bay, governments can do their own testing and say “No, we disagree“ as the FDA did and life goes on.

Sort of. There is a bit of a catch-22.

Let’s say that I am a company that sells fragrance oils and am headquartered in the US and the IRFA has just said that XYZ component cause butt pimples in lab rats. The FDA (legal authority in the US) runs it’s own tests and says, “If you slathered your butt with a cream containing XYZ every night for 20 years it might cause butt pimples, but in soap, it won’t.” But in the EU, the EC is worried about butt pimples so they ban the use of XYZ. Here’s the catch-22…I can sell my FO as in in the US, but I can’t sell it in the EU. And I can’t afford to have two different versions of the same FO just in case something happens and there is a mix up. So my choices are…quit selling the EU or reformulate.
 
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When I was selling I still did not worry about IFRA usage. I stuck with my usage rates and did not have any issues. Manufacturers of fragrances are Not required to have their fragrances tested with IFRA, it is a choice. When making lotions common sense and your nose will usually not let you over fragrance. With soap if you use too much fo it will leak out. Like IL for EO's I went by my Essential Oil Safety book by Tisserand and Young guidelines.
 
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Saponificarian

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Considering where the funding from IFRA comes from, I think it’s all about business for them. This chemical is not profitable to produce anymore, let’s limit its usage and use something else…. Guess what, as rich as the funding companies are, they can afford to fund a research that support whatever agenda they are pushing.

Call me a cynic but I don’t trust that there is no profit behind everything IFRA does.
 
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