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EFA – Consultation on fragrance allergens

In consultation with its members, the European Federation of Allergy and Airway Diseases Patients Association (EFA) presented its position on fragrance allergen in an open consultation by the EU Commission.

Cosmetic products can cause a wide range of allergic reactions. Approximately one to three percent of European citizens and 16 percent of eczema patients are affected by allergies caused by cosmetics containing fragrances. 113 million European citizens suffer from allergic rhinitis and 68 million from the allergic asthma. Some people experience itching, burning or stinging within minutes of using a product, other more adverse reactions to fragrances in perfumes and cosmetic products are also possible.

EFA’s position refers to the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) new opinion on fragrance allergens and cosmetic products which only includes contact allergens. Yet, it has been recognised that perfumes also expose the eyes and naso-respiratory tract and that two to four percent of the adult population is affected by respiratory or eye symptoms. It is also known that exposure to fragrances may exacerbate pre-existing asthma.

EFA’s response to the consultation recommends focusing not only on fragrances but also on preservatives to ensure a comprehensive approach on citizens’ safety. It also encourages the EU Commission to further regulate the mix of fragrances that could be more problematic for allergic people that single products.

EFA’s response to the consultation can be found here.

Originally posted on 26 June 2014

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