FMA Defends DEP in Air Fresheners

The Fragrance Materials Association of the United States (FMA) has issued a response to a recent petition titled "Citizen Petition to EPA and CPSC Regarding Air Fresheners," which asks for regulatory action on air freshener products and producers. The petition, issued to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, was co-authored by:

  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Sierra Club
  • Alliance for Healthy Homes
  • National Center for Healthy Housing

The FMA's rebuttal includes some clarifications on phthalates, pointing out that the compounds in the group possess varying chemical profiles and that the only phthalate appropriate for use in fragrances is diethyl phthalate (DEP). The FMA statement highlights a recent study, which found that the solvent/fixative provoked no reproductive or thyroid hormone level shifts in males who topically applied the substance for 28 days. In short, DEP continues its long-standing reputation as a safe fragrance material.

In addition, the FMA disputes an NRDC phthalate report titled "Masking the Danger: Toxic Chemicals in Air Fresheners." The report described air freshener DEP levels as "shocking," despite the fact that the levels discovered in the report were just 1/3 of the level permitted in cosmetic products applied directly to the human body.

The FMA report concludes in urging a denial of the petition.

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