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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected a petition submitted by the National Natural Resources Defense Counsel (NRDC) and allied groups requesting actions regarding air fresheners. The petition "claimed that some air fresheners may cause health problems because they contain phtalates," says a Fragrance Materials Association (FMA) bulletin (posted in its entirety below). "The Fragrance Materials Association submitted comments in opposition to the petition, contending that its conclusions were baseless and lacking in sound scientific evidence."
The EPA found that the NRDC's submission neglected to measure/estimate air freshener-related exposure risks, which meant that no basis for assessment was provided. The FMA's bulletin concludes: "The NRDC report on phthalates, 'Masking the Danger: Toxic Chemicals in Air Fresheners,' which formed the basis for the petition, mischaracterized the safety profile of diethyl phthalate. Diethyl phthalate is safe for use in fragrance and is among the most thoroughly tested of the substances in the class of phthalates."