Allergens: more substances, more limitations
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It was due at the end of 2011. The public consultation once finished, the SCCS Opinion on allergens, approved during the 26 and 27 June plenary meeting, has been released. At stake, a new regulation is ahead, not only for the 26 substances that shall already be labelled, but also for complementary 30 chemical substances and 26 natural extracts.
The SCCS worked on two approaches:
• The overall prevention of allergies, to avoid (by a ban to use) or to lower (by defining maximum concentrations considered as safe) the contacts of the public with the allergenic substances
• The individual prevention, through the mandatory declaration of allergenic substances, so that every consumer may avoid the substances able to trigger allergenic reactions
To do this, the experts have made an exhaustive review of all the available data on sensitizing substances, mainly published since 1999, when the first list of 26 to-be-labelled allergenic substances was issued on the European level. They have drawn conclusions that may be the core of a future new regulation.
From 26 to 82… as a minimum
The first lesson of this Opinion: the list of 26 fragrance substances is still valid. However, on the one hand, it is completed, and, on the other hand, it now includes other substances, chemicals, or natural such as plants extracts and essential oils. It comprises also substances that, due to an oxidation or an enzymatic process, may produce allergens.
Therefore, the SCCS has issued four lists(See below for details):
1. Established contact allergen in humans
2. Established contact allergen in animals, which may be also in humans