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DfE Fragrance Screen Launched

Posted: July 1, 2009

The US Environmental Protection Agency's Design for Environment (DfE) Program has announced the release of its screen for fragrances, which is "designed to identify safer aroma chemicals and fragrance formulations for use in cleaning products" and constitutes "a practical, cost-effective tool for moving the chemical components of fragrances towards safer substitutes."

The screen employs criteria for a number of human health endpoints that fragrances must meet in order to pass. It also considers environmental fates and effects, though the specific criteria is pending. Meanwhile, all non-aroma fragrance raw materials (i.e. solvents) must meet the DfE screen for their ingredient class.

According to an official announcement, "The screening criteria for the human health endpoints in the screen apply to all chemicals present in the fragrance at or above 0.01% by weight. DfE’s 0.01% threshold reflects a stakeholder-agreed and conservative approach to screening fragrances."

Fragrance application areas affected by the screen include cleaning products such as "all-purpose cleaners, carpet care products, machine warewash detergents, dishwashing detergents, floor care products, manual dishwashing detergents, hard surface cleaners, washroom cleaners, hand soaps (non-FDA regulated) and laundry detergents." Not in scope are air fresheners, hand soaps (those regulated by FDA), and personal care products such as lotions.