Fragrance allergens in household detergents

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Abstract

Consumers are confronted with a large number of fragrance allergens from various sources. Until now, the discussion of exposure sources has mainly addressed cosmetic products and neglected other scented products in households. For the first time, fragrance allergens were evaluated in a complete set of detergents in households. In 131 households, we investigated the prevalence of detergents and searched their lists of ingredients for 26 fragrance allergens liable to be indicated on products according to the European Detergents Regulations. On the ingredient lists of 1447 products, these 26 fragrance substances were named almost 2000 times, most often limonene, linalool and hexyl cinnamal. Benzyl salicylate was used frequently in all-purpose cleaners. Linalool and limonene, hexyl cinnamal and butylphenyl methylpropional and citronellol and linalool co-occurred most often together in products. Fragrance allergens co-occurring together most frequently within households were eugenol, coumarin and cinnamyl alcohol. The study shows that detergents could play a relevant role for the exposure of consumers towards fragrance allergens and that they should not be underestimated as an exposure source during the exposure assessment.

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