The European Commission has just announced its decision to ban the fragrance material
Musk xylene under the new European Chemicals Legislation REACH, bringing EU
regulations in line with the global IFRA Standards.
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) voluntarily banned Musk xylene through
the IFRA Standards, part of the fragrance industry’s global self-regulatory program
contained in the IFRA Code of Practice.
The material was banned because of its potential effects on the environment.
The IFRA Standards form the basis for the globally accepted and recognized risk management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients and are part of the product risk management process, the IFRA Code of Practice. This is the self-regulating system of the industry, based on risk assessments carried out by an independent Expert Panel.
The Expert Panel is made up of renowned independent experts, from fields such as dermatology, toxicology, pathology or environmental sciences. Their role is to evaluate the data on a fragrance to see if it supports the current use level, to make sure that there is no risk for the consumer or the environment. In the cases where the safety assessment does not support the current use, the Panel instructs IFRA to issue a Standard either restricting or banning a material. This was the process that led to the creation of an IFRA Standard banning the use of Musk xylene as part of the IFRA 44th Amendment to the Code of Practice in June 2009. The Code of Practice is mandatory for all IFRA members and membership accounts for approximately 90% of the global volume of fragrance materials.