The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has published a list of fragrance ingredients used in consumer goods worldiwide and also evaluates fragrance ingredients for safety. It is the trade association representing the global fragrance industry.
“To support our drive for increased transparency, IFRA has published an alphabetized list of fragrance ingredients used by IFRA affiliated members around the world. This list represents the industry’s palette of materials from which fragrances are formulated. We believe releasing information on our materials will help us in our efforts to communicate about the industry’s extensive safety program more comprehensively.”
“IFRA’s Safety Program establishes safe use for fragrance materials. The IFRA Code of Practice and the IFRA Standards are based on risk assessments and may prohibit or restrict the use of fragrance materials in consumer goods if there is concern for human health or the environment. The Code of Practice and the Standards must be adhered to by all IFRA affiliated member companies. Adherence is enforced through the IFRA Compliance Program.”
Natural and synthetic ingredients are listed alphabetically by their chemical name and their Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number. 3194 of them.
In the IFRA Code of Practice, it says “Fragrance ingredients should only be used when, based on appropriate information and evaluation, it has been concluded that they present no unreasonable risk to human health and the environment and are safe under their intended conditions of use.”
Indeed the entire mission of this organization seems to be to determine the safety of fragrance ingredients and allow only safe fragrance ingredients to be used.
They have a list of prohibited ingredients and restricted ingredients and lots of information about how they come to these decisions.
You can even find out from them what specific chemicals are in the fragrance of a specific brand name product.
I will just say, browsing the list of acceptable fragrance ingredients, there are many I recognize as toxic: styrene, ethylene glycol, phenol, benzene, xylene, formaldehyde…some of these are among the most toxic solvents that exist.
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There is also the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM). They have “the most comprehensive, worldwise source of toxicology data, literature and general information on fragrance and flavor raw materials” but you have to be a member to access it. And to be a member, you need to be in the industry and be sponsored by two RIFM members. So consumers don’t have access.
But industry safety standards are maintained by IFRA, using data from RIFM.