EHN [of California]
P.O. Box 1155
Larkspur, California, 94977-0074
Support and Information Line
Files Petition With the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration
Department of Health and Human Services, Rm. 1-23
12420 Parklawn Dr.
Rockville, MD 20857
Re: Petition filed with the FDA to have "Eternity" by Calvin
Klein declared misbranded.
This is a comment on the specific case of the "Eternity" perfume, but this case has more general implications for the following reasons:
The scientific complexity arises here from the multiplicity of ingredients in perfumes, often several hundred. It is likely that the large majority of ingredients in any one perfume are not significant triggers of asthma. However, from my own personal and clinical experience and from review of the literature, it appears that many, but not all perfumes and perfumed consumer products do trigger asthma. Judging from this information, it appear likely that only a small number of ingredients in perfumes are significant triggers of asthma. However, these ingredients are not well characterized, and are certainly unknown to members of the general population. Unfortunately, the correlation between odorous ingredients of a perfume and asthma-triggering ingredients is poor, and the time before onset of symptoms can be minutes to hours, the consumer and others exposed to the consumer's products do not have much basis for identifying or avoiding the hazards themselves.
For the asthma sufferer, this matter is as serious as exposure to other asthma triggers such as smoke. Yet, because the perfume constituents responsible for asthma are so poorly identified or disclosed, the asthma-sufferer does not have the same ability to avoid the asthma trigger. The matter is a complex one because the responsibilities for this type of pollution overlap between the FDA, EPA and OSHA and other agencies. The jurisdictional complexity arises from the multiplicity of situations in which perfumed products are used:
I propose the following as a minimum for this product and for others:
The incidence of asthma is increasing, and the problem preferentially afflicts some groups such as inner city residents, who appear to use perfumed products out of proportion to the use in the general population. Action must be taken. I have spoken out publicly on issues in which too much regulation has been applied to health problems; the issue here is the opposite: there is a failure to act when action is needed. It would be tragic if protection from volatile asthma-triggering chemicals were to fall between the cracks of jurisdiction of different agencies.
Michael M. Segal MD, PhD
|Betty Bridges, FPINfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Barbara Wilkie, EHN||(Barb's email is no longer valid, please contact EHN)|
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http://www.ehnca.org/www/FDApetition/lmmsegal.htm -- 6/26/99
The Environmental Health Network (EHN) [of California] is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency and offers support and information for the chemically injured. EHN brings you topics on this page that need your immediate attention The URL for this page is http://www.ehnca.org/www/FDApetition/lmmsegal.htm