Sensitizing fragrances in absorbent hygiene products.

Bart Desmedt, Quinten Marcelis, Dea Zhilivoda, Eric Deconinck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Allergenic fragrances are present in a wide range of products but they are not regulated in all industries to the same extent. In Europe, absorbent hygiene products (AHPs) are only covered by the general product safety directive and therefore fragrances can be used freely, whereas in cosmetics and toys the use of these ingredients is regulated.

An analytical method was developed to evaluate the presence of 24 sensitizing fragrances in AHPs. This method allows simultaneous identification and quantification and was validated using the total error approach with an acceptance value of ±15%.

The validated method was applied to evaluate 10 scented AHPs consisting of four tampons, three panty liners, and three sanitary pads. Eight allergenic fragrances were identified in these products and five products contained at least one allergen above 10 μg/g.

The presence of these allergens is not communicated to the consumer. This is, however, a strict requirement in other industries (eg, cosmetics, toys) to ensure adequate consumer protection. Knowing that the exposed area is more susceptible to allergens and irritants, the presence of these allergens should be disclosed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-282
Number of pages4
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • labeling
  • tampon
  • sanitary pads
  • contact allergens
  • fragrances
  • feminine hygiene products
  • menstrual


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