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Additional contribution by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) United Kingdom

Protecting the health and safety of the public, as well as the environment, is central to the work of IFRA UK. All fragranced products are safety tested, both in their finished form and as individual ingredients, to ensure they’re absolutely safe to use and enjoy.

The safety of fragrances is tested and verified by scientists at the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM). The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) then helps to ensure that these fragrances are used in a safe way both by the companies putting fragrances into products and the consumers enjoying the products themselves.

The safety of fragrances is determined by a scientific Qualitative Risk Assessment (QRA), which has four key steps:

1. Hazard identification: Step one is to determine whether a fragrance has the potential to cause adverse effects, such as skin rashes.

2. Dose-response assessment or hazard quantification: The second step is to establish how much of the fragrance someone would need to be exposed to to suffer an adverse effect.

3. Exposure assessment: Step three is to look at the way in which the fragrance will be used and determine the amount of the fragrance ingredient that individuals will receive.

4. Risk characterization: The final step is to determine an Acceptable Exposure Level (AEL) for the fragrance by testing it out in real-life consumer product types.

Only when a fragrance has gone through this rigorous scientific process can it be approved to go into the products that consumers use and enjoy every day, from cleaning products to perfumes.