Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ethical Case Studies

Case number 1:

About five years ago, an air freshener was successfully commercialized in the US with a "grapefruit" compound containing Geranyl Nitrile. This material was under study due to test data of concern when the fragrance was submitted to the manufacturer. By the end of 2006, with additional data, further testing was no longer being funded. IFRA announced to its membership it would no longer support its use. 

The toxicological endpoint of greatest concern was genotoxicity, Geranyl Nitrile produced chromosomal aberrations. Annual worldwide usage during this study period was just over 100 metric tons.

Meanwhile substitute "grapefruit" compounds were submitted but not considered acceptable by the manufacturer. Some fragrance competitors, perhaps just one (whom the Green Nose was employed) were given the opportunity to duplicate. Eventually, the original compound supplier omitted Geranyl Nitrile and the manufacturer added the ingredient themselves. Were these motives justified or did they just lose their ethics? How would you act?

Case number 2:

Currently the EPA's DfE program gives provisional approval for fragrances that need revision if deemed justifiable. This period for improvement is three years and the manufacturer can show the DfE logo without an asterisk. Now consider that the new DfE module which will be formally introduced this June, will only "pass" compound ingredients that fall within acceptable standards for both human and environmental toxicity. Should a clear deadline be determined for all outstanding provisional fragrances with allowance for stability testing? Is December 31, 2009 fair?

The meeting this June, Sustainable Fragrances 2009, has tremendous potential to adjourn with agreements to make things better, set deadlines where needed and attendees have mutual and moral respect for certain sciences, for ourselves and others. 


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