Lavender to be classified as 'skin sensitiser'

In view of reports that products made with lavender oil can cause allergic reactions for some people, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said it will classify the oil as a 'skin sensitiser'.

London: In view of reports that products made with lavender oil can cause allergic reactions for some people, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said it will classify the oil as a 'skin sensitiser'.

Officially categorised as such, the European Union will have to obtain warning labels on associated products starting 2018.

At least one lavender producer has notified the ECHA that the essential oils from the plant can cause allergic reactions, said Alex Scott, a senior editor at Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society.

As the European Commission, executive body of the European Union, gears up to release guidelines for warning labels, lavender growers in France are putting up a fight, and some are even threatening to quit the business altogether if the rules go into effect, Scott added.

An industry group representing 1,500 growers of fragrant and medicinal plants in France launched a campaign to fight the labeling requirements.

Lavender oils have been valued widely since ancient times for their fragrance and are now in an amazing array of consumer products from soap to honey.

The oils also are also used as a mild antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent.

The article appeared in Chemical & Engineering News.

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