Non è uno scherzo anche se mi piace evidenziare alcuni aspetti ridicoli della faccenda. Tutto parte dalla campagna per il rischio VOC ( volatile organic compound ) indoor, cioè sul rischio associato alla esposizione a sostanze chimiche volatili in ambienti chiusi.
Per intenderci: si tratta esattamente dello stesso rischio contro cui è partita la campagna di opinione contro la formaldehyde.
Ma praticamente tutti i profumi sono di fatto composti da VOC e dall’inizio degli anni 90 sono stati condotti studi sul rischio ambientale a loro connesso.
Durante un recente incontro in UNIPRO dove si discuteva delle normative cosmetiche in vigore nei diversi paesi , è emersa la problematica che potrebbe emergere sul mercato USA come conseguenza delle norme , in corso di definizione, che dovrebbero limitare l’esposizione alle sostanze volatili negli ambienti chiusi.
Una delle conseguenze paradossali potrebbe essere che in USA non ci si potrà profumare!
Qualche markettaro, con probabili paleo-sentimenti anti-americani, sta già elaborando lo slogan : Tenetevi la vostra puzza!
Personalmente mi sono immaginato i cartelli all’ingresso dei locali pubblici ,di fianco a quelli con l’immagine del cane, con la silhouette di una ” profumona ” e la scritta : QUI NON POSSO ENTRARE , oppure, un più brutale : VIETATO L’INGRESSO ALLE PROFUMONE.
La Profumona ( definizione )
Origini del neologismo: Il termine “Profumona” è ancora di stretto utilizzo bolognese e contrariamente ad altri neologismi nati nell’area di Bologna che hanno poi avuto diffusione e comprensione nazionale deve essere “tradotto”
Oltre alle ricerche ed ai provvedimenti della severa agenzia per l’ambiente USA: l’ EPA; questa campagna sul pericolo profumi ha avuto un importante seguito su internet.Assieme al “safe cosmetic act” federale in USA si sta seriamente discutendo di controllare e limitare l’esposizione ai VOC e quindi ai profumi cosmetici nei locali pubblici .
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)“Common Indoor Air Pollutants” definiti dal governativo Istituto nazionale Scienze per la salute Ambientale.
Profumi e norme USA per limitare i VOC
Alcuni aspetti paradossali emersero immediatamente e si potrebbero riassumere nella battuta: se consideriamo il limonene dei profumi e dei cosmetici un pericolo , che dobbiamo fare a chi sbuccia una arancia in pubblico ?
( a chi non ha dimestichezza con l’inglese, ricordo che nella barra laterale del sito abbiamo inserito un discreto traduttore automatico )
Fragrances and VOC regulations. (volatile organic compounds emissions regulations affecting fragrance industry)
Cosmetics and Toiletries
| June 01, 1992 | Raymond, Robert L. |
Increasing concern about air quality has resulted in regulatory initiatives to control air emissions, including emissions from a wide variety of consumer products. A better understanding of the individual components o cosmetic, toiletry and household products is needed by regulators and the public. Among the least understood o these components are the fragrance oils used to impart or mask odor in these products. Fragrances are an important aspect of many consumer products. Regulations must be carefully developed so as not to inadvertently preclude their use.
This paper reviews the complex nature of fragrance materials and the intricate sense of smell with which we were all born. The complicated problems of reformulating fragrance oils and personal fragrance products (i.e., perfumes, colognes, after shaves and body splashes) to meet VOC limits will be discussed.
The most recent environmental regulations that are affecting the consumer products industry are the California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulations mandated by, the California Clean Air Act of 1988. The proposed regulations call for a significant reduction in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from consumer products. The intent of these regulations is to reduce the rate of ambient ozone formation. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other states are also looking at similar VOC controls. EPA is studying the national ramifications of VOCs based on the Federal Clean Air Amendments of 1990.
VOCs are defined by CARB as any compound containing at least one atom of carbon, except for specifically mentioned compounds including methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides, or carbonates, ammonium carbonate, CFCs and HCFCs. Product ingredients with a vapor pressure of less than 0.1 mm Hg at 20 [degrees] C are not classified as VOCs. Solvents such as ethyl alcohol, and most standard aerosol propellants, are classified as VOCs. This means that many cosmetic, toiletry and fragrance products are affected by these regulations. Deodorants, antiperspirants and hairsprays were found to produce significant emissions of VOCs, and stringent standards have already been promulgated for these product categories in California.
The origins of fragrances are lost in the mists of antiquity. The first production of essential oils was recorded about 450 BC. The fragrance industry preceded the development of organic chemistry as a science and goes back to when perfumery was based solely on the natural essential oils and extracts obtained from flowers, woods, fruits and animals. Most aroma chemicals used today in fragrances, although often chemically synthesized, are identical to the materials present in, and initially isolated from, natural sources. An important point to remember is that, because fragrances mimic natural plant and floral odors, materials similar to those contained in a fragrance are emitted by natural vegetation in amounts that generally greatly exceed the emissions from fragrances in individual consumer products in use.
It is estimated that the perfumer has as many as 5,000 different natural and synthetic materials available in the creation of fragrance mixtures developed for consumer products. Natural fragrance materials are complex mixtures of many organic compounds. For example, * Jasmin oil contains about 400 known chemical compounds. * Rose oil contains about 275 known chemical compounds. * Mandarine oil contains about 120 known chemical compounds. * Bergamot oil contains more than 65 known chemical compounds.
These natural materials contain organic chemicals such as terpenes, alcohols, esters, aldehydes, ketones, ethers and organic acids.
To the creative perfumer each natural material (i.e., rose oil) is considered as a single material, when in reality it is a complex organic mixture. A typical fragrance in a consumer product may easily contain many such natural mixtures, accounting for as many as several hundred different organic substances. Because of the large number of materials present in these mixtures, individual ingredients are usually present in low concentrations. Single ingredients only rarely exceed 10% of the composition of a fragrance.
The ability to create a new fragrance is analogous to the creative genius required to create a piece of music or a literary work. Musical compositions and literature are protected by copyright laws, however, whereas fragrance formulations are not afforded the same courtesy. Consequently, the formulation of a given fragrance has long been the classic example of a trade secret. The fragrance industry has historically depended on such secrecy to maintain its business. The need for secrecy has been respected by the regulatory system, which permits the term “fragrance” on descriptive product label ingredient lists to cover fragrances as an entity. Information on the ingredient composition is closely guarded, for obvious reasons, by the fragrance manufacturing company.
In order to have a better understanding of the chemicals that produce odor sensations in humans, it is important to be familiar with the complex and very mysterious mechanism of olfactory perception. The reactions of a human subject to different odors depend on the quality and quantity of the substance(s) producing the stimuli. The nose is a physical-chemical laboratory in miniature which can distinguish tens of thousands of different odors. There is no scientific instrument which has this selective ability. The olfactory system can be described in very simple terms as consisting of the receptor membrane where the information originates, the olfactory nerve in which it is transported, and the olfactory center in which it is processed for transmission to the central nervous system.
Olfactory interaction takes place when odor molecules are carried by a current of air to the thin layer of mucus covering the receptor sites. The latter point is important to note, as odor molecules must be oil-soluble in order to penetrate the mucus layer covering the receptor sites. The olfactory receptors are located at the top of the nose. There are about 50 million odor receptors in the human olfactory epithelia, the total size of which is about that of a small postage stamp.
The concentration of molecules available for interaction depends on odorant volatility. This suggests that there is an upper limit for the molecular weight of odor molecules. The molecular weights of the aroma chemicals used in fragrance compositions vary from less than 50 to no more than 300. The number of carbon atoms in these materials can be fewer than 5 (i.e., ethyl acetate) or greater than 16-18 (i.e., sesquiterpenes and macrocyclic musks). However, almost 80% of aroma chemicals have a molecular structure containing from 9-15 carbon atoms. Low-molecular-weight materials are invariably used in fragrances in low concentrations due to their high vapor pressure and powerful olfactory effects.
Many researchers in this field claim that the size and shape of the molecule govern the type of odor detected by the olfactory system. There isn’t a simple physical or chemical dimension that could differ reliably in enough ways for us to discriminate a really large number of odor sensations. Therefore, the odor must correlate with a definable set of qualities, so that the set for one substance can be different from the set for another, even though some elements of the two sets may be the same. A good analogy is the fact that we use an alphabet of 26 letters to spell an effectively unlimited number of words.
There was a recent press quote in California stating that “state officials think the industry could develop alternative products–say, by changing the chemical formula.” As we have just seen from the chemical requirements of fragrance molecules and the biochemical nature of the human olfactory system, that is not possible for fragrance materials. It may be possible to modify gasolines and automobile exhaust systems to reduce emissions but it’s hard to imagine having the human nose modified with a “catalytic converter to boost efficiency!”
Fragrance Volatility/Vapor Pressure
As we have previously noted, in order for fragrances to be detected by the human olfactory system they must be volatile. Nonvolatile matter has no odor. Materials of relatively low volatility can easily be perceived if their odor thresholds (concentrations at which odor effect begins to be produced) are sufficiently low.
The physical property of a chemical which is most closely related to its volatility is its vapor pressure. The vapor pressure of organic chemicals is a function of both their structure and their molecular weight. The units of vapor pressure most commonly used are millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A volatile liquid such as ethyl alcohol will have a vapor pressure at room temperature (about 20 [degrees] C) of about 50 mm Hg.
The vapor pressure of complex fragrance mixtures is not easily determined. Approximate values can be calculated by summing the partial pressures of individual chemicals based on their individual vapor pressures and their mole fractions. The fragrance industry has established a repository of approximate vapor pressure values in the database of the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM). These values have become the basis permitting uniform calculations within the fragrance industry.
A small survey of fragrance oils used in personal fragrance products (i.e., perfumes, colognes, aftershaves and splashes) indicates that almost all have a vapor pressure below 2.0 mm Hg. Certain chemicals found in citrus or fruity notes can raise the vapor pressure of the fragrance mixture.
It must strongly be emphasized that, for vapor pressure considerations, the fragrance mixture must be considered as a single entity.
The fragrance industry advocates that regulations promulgated to control volatile organic compound content in consumer products should be developed in such a way that the lower vapor pressure limit of fragrance mixtures be established at no less than 2.0 mm Hg. Such an exclusion is desirable and justified because of the need for fragrances in consumer products. There are no substitutes for fragrances because they are an integral part of products. The latest proposed CARB regulations (dated January 9, 1992) achieve this objective for personal fragrance products by exempting any VOC which is a fragrance. In those same proposed regulations there is also an exemption for fragrances of up to 2% when calculating the VOC level in any consumer products. In both cases, the maximum vapor pressure for the fragrance is 2.0 mm. Otherwise the fragrance is considered a VOC at any level.
Personal Fragrance Products
In the case of personal fragrance products, which include perfumes, colognes, aftershaves, toilet waters and body splashes, the fragrance is the product.
The most recently proposed CARB regulations (which go into effect on January 1, 1995) state that all personal fragrance products with 20% or less fragrance will be limited to an 80% VOC content while similar products with more than 20% fragrance will be limited to 70% VOC content. Those VOC levels change on January 1, 1999 to 75% and 65% respectively.
There is an exemption for existing personal fragrance products or for such products that are in development prior to April 1, 1992, provided that such products are registered before July 1, 1993 and are sold in California before January 1, 1994. For these purposes, a product in development means a product for which a fragrance materials manufacturer is creating a fragrance at the request of a product manufacturer, or a product which is the subject of a written marketing profile or other documentation authorizing the creation and marketing of a product.
Aerosol products were once banned but that was later dropped by CARB. However, aerosol products are subject to the VOC limits for personal fragrance products.
The VOC limits for personal fragrance products that were being contemplated by CARB during their deliberations were based on survey information that CARB received from fragrance marketers selling products in California. However, those in the industry who reviewed that data closely found that the survey produced quite a bit of incorrect information because the survey forms were difficult and complicated to fill out.
A CARB staff report stated: “Change will be necessary–perfumers may need to adjust the palette of fragrance oils that they use to focus more on those that can tolerate higher levels of water, or may deliver the fragrance product in a different form. This should not be viewed as a negative event, however, since there are many ways to produce a fragrance product that is pleasing to the olfactory senses.”
It is interesting to note that personal fragrance products account for an estimated 5.51 tons per day of VOC emissions based on CARB calculations. In fact, these 5.51 tons per day of VOC emissions represent only 0.015% of the estimated 133,000 tons of pollution that hover above California. Of the 5.51 tons per day, CARB estimates that about 73% is contributed by perfumes, colognes and toilet waters and about 26% from aftershaves and body splashes.
Ethyl alcohol is the principal vehicle or carrier for the fragrance oils in personal fragrance products. Restrictions on the total VOC level seriously affects the ethyl alcohol content of these products. There are no satisfactory solvents available to replace it. We realize that, by definition, ethyl alcohol is a VOC. However, it has the advantages of being water-soluble and biodegradable so that its effect in the atmosphere is minimal.
Current commercial perfumes, colognes and aftershaves do contain some water, as shown on the ingredient labeling of such products. The amount of water that can be added is usually inversely proportional to the fragrance concentration. As we have previously seen, fragrance components are usually nonpolar, and water has limited compatibility with fragrance oils. Furthermore, the addition of water to an alcoholic fragrance mixture significantly affects the fragrance character. The top notes are significantly changed by making them flatter.” Also, the addition of high concentrations of water ill precipitate many odorous components. The precipitates will remain behind during the processing/filtering of the solution, thereby affecting the fragrance character.
Someone can counter the solubility argument by suggesting using the classical solubilizers. However, increased use of solubilizers will affect personal fragrance products in the following ways: * Decrease fragrance diffusion * Affect product feel (i.e., oily and greasy) * Could affect fragrance safety on skin if solubilizers are used in high concentrations * May create a need for significant safety testing to be done to insure product (fragrance + solubilizer + other additives) safety on skin
Solubility varies widely with the different fragrance families and the various natural essential oils.
Solubilizers are currently used in a few aftershave liquids. However, both the fragrance oil and the solubilizer levels are very low in these products.
As we have previously stated, CARB has exempted fragrances with vapor pressures of 2.0 mm or less in personal fragrance products. However, the current VOC definition as found in some of the early EPA documents on the subject has not mentioned any vapor pressure ceilings for VOC. Therefore, fragrances in their entirety are presumably considered as VOCs by the US EPA. This issue must be addressed by the fragrance industry. Also, all proposed state regulations must be reviewed carefully so that fragrance oils are not defined as VOCs.
Other Fragrance Issues
Over the years, a few fragrance raw materials have been, for various reasons, restricted by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). As can be seen from this presentation, it is not always possible to make a fragrance raw material substitution without affecting the odor quality of the fragrance mixture. This, of course, is due to the different odor perception, threshold odor value and vapor pressure (volatility) of the materials in question vs. the potential replacements. The quantity of the fragrance ingredient being replaced is also important. Very small quantities are more easily replaced than large quantities.
Over the past two decades, the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), private fragrance companies and national marketing companies have thoroughly tested individual fragrance raw materials used in the fragrance industry, to ensure consumer safety. It remains the responsibility of the personal care industry to monitor state, federal, and international regulations and legislation. As new environmental and consumer protection rules are proposed, their potential benefits must be weighed against their impact on fragrance formulation.
Address correspondence to Robert L Raymond, Firmenich, Inc, PO Box 5880, Princeton NJ 08540
I composti organici volatili ( VOC ) sono considerati , a ragione , un potenziale pericolo per la salute ambientale, e da tempo se ne sta monitorando l’esposizione.
Praticamente tutti i profumi e tutte le fragranze cosmetiche contengono grandi quantità di VOC.
Alcune campagne ambientaliste e salutiste in USA stanno portando alla approvazione di norme che potrebbero addirittura proibire l’utilizzo in pubblico dei più comuni profumi cosmetici per come sono attualmente formulati.
E’ paradossale e per certi aspetti grottesco che a fronte di una così rigida e severa regolamentazione del cosmetico, nessuno faccia nulla, almeno per ora, di fronte al mercato degli incensini, profumi e deodoranti ambientali, candele profumate ecc.. veri e propri “vulcani” che eruttano grandi quantità di VOC negli ambienti domestici.
Il consumatore che si scandalizza per un cessore di formaldehyde nel cosmetico e si riempie la casa di incensini e candele profumate evidentemente non sa.
pubblicato 6 ottobre 2012