Sharing the Science Behind Fragrance Safety


At the Research Institute for Fragrance Material’s (RIFM’s) first Information Exchange in India, RIFM staff, and members of the international Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety, which guides all of RIFM’s research and safety assessment work, presented on cutting-edge fragrance safety­–related science.

After a brief welcome by RIFM President James C. Romine, PhD, the audience of 100 fragrance industry and government oversight officials were offered an introduction to the Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety by the Panel’s Chair, Donald Belsito, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center in the United States.

A series of presentations by Expert Panel members and RIFM staff followed Dr. Belsito’s introduction:

Dermatology expert Magnus Bruze, MD, PhD, of Lund University and Skne University Hospital, Sweden, provided an overview of contact allergy to, and allergic contact dermatitis from, fragrances;

Computational toxicology and chemistry expert Terry W. Schultz, PhD, of the University of Knoxville in the USA, spoke to the processes of grouping discreet fragrance ingredients and botanical mixtures for evaluation and read-across purposes;

Lung physiology expert Allison D. Fryer, PhD, of Oregon Health Science University in the USA, outlined the difficulties in measuring bronchoconstriction in vitro; and

RIFM’s Vice President, Anne Marie Api, PhD, and Safety Assessment Manager, Danielle Botelho, PhD, offered detailed looks at RIFM’s ground-breaking Research and Safety Assessment programs.

Fellow Expert Panel members G. Allen Burton, Jr., PhD (environmental toxicology, University of Michigan, USA), Maria Lucia Zaidan Dagli, DVM, MS, PhD (animal science and comparative oncology, University of So Paulo, Brazil), Wolfgang Dekant, PhD (mechanistic toxicology and risk assessment, Universitaet Wurzburg, Germany), Trevor M. Penning, PhD (biochemistry and biophysics, University of Pennsylvania, USA), I. Glenn Sipes, PhD (pharmacology and toxicology, University of Arizona, USA), and Yoshiki Tokura, MD, PhD (dermatology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan) joined Drs. Belsito, Bruze, Schultz, and Fryer for a roundtable discussion and Q&A. The Expert Panel members considered the intricacies and impacts of exposure, skin sensitization, and animal alternative testing strategies  and took questions from the audience.

Rounding out the day, Professor Alok Dhawan, PhD, Director, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research–Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR) presented on IITR’s collaborative work with RIFM and the challenges and opportunities for the fragrance industry as the work to assess the safety of natural complex substances begins.

About RIFM
Established in 1966, the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) generates, analyzes, evaluates, and distributes data to provide a scientific basis for the safe use of fragrances. RIFM has compiled the most comprehensive, worldwide source of toxicology data, literature, and general information on fragrance and flavor raw materials. RIFM’s Fragrance Ingredient Safety Assessment Program draws from its comprehensive database of over 70,000 references and more than 135,000 human health and environmental studies. RIFM assesses the safety of fragrance ingredients by the most current, internationally accepted guidelines—and has done so since its founding.

About the Expert Panel
The Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety, an independent, international team of researchers and academics with no ties to the fragrance industry, reviews all of RIFM’s work before RIFM submits it for peer-reviewed publication in a reputable scientific journal. RIFM makes all of its published, peer-reviewed work—current and historical—available for free at