Perfume Raw Material Safety—The Role of IFRA

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) was formed in 1973. It is an international organization with scientific aims concerned with all aspects of safety evaluation and regulation of the fragrance industry. The headquarters of IFRA are in Geneva, Switzerland. The members of IFRA are the national associations of fragrance manufacturers from, at present, thirteen countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, The United Kingdom and the USA. Each ordinary member country has a voice in the General Assembly and a representative on the Board of Directors. Individual companies are members of the national associations in these countries; therefore, IFRA represents the entire fragrance industry of the member countries.

By a unanimous decision of its members, IFRA established a self-regulatory discipline within the fragrance industry, In October 1975, IFRA issued a “Code of Practice for the Fragrance Industry” to which all members adhere. This code regulates the control which the fragrance industry itself exercises over its activities in all domains not covered by national or international regulations. It contains basic standards of good manfuacturing practice dealing with personnel, hygienic requirements in the manufacturing areas, storage, manufacturing operations, labeling and packaging, as well as quality control.

A major part of the Code concerns the use of fragrance ingredients. They must only be used under conditions where they present no risk to health. Fragrance materials can be divided into two groups: those for which no adequate in-use experience is available and those which have been in use over a long period of time.

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