The health and well-being of consumers are at the heart of Mérieux NutriSciences’ concerns, so the study and identification of allergens in consumer goods is of great importance for us.
Allergic reactions are a serious issue and a growing problem, both for adults and for children. For sensitive individuals, a very broad range of substances can act as allergens, including heavy metals (mainly nickel and chrome), flavorings, dyes and preservatives.
In this context, the following substances are major culprits:
- This is one of the most common and widespread indoor pollutants, it is possible to find it you can find it in paints, varnishes, coatings, plastic products, cosmetics, leather goods, adhesives, glues, resins, textiles and air fresheners.
- In addition to causing allergic contact dermatitis, formaldehyde was designated a carcinogen in January 2016, resulting in its use and presence in materials and products being subject to increasingly stringent regulations.
- Heavy metals
- These are extremely widespread and toxic. It is possible to find them in cosmetics, jewelry, toys, ceramics, packaging and clothing accessories such as zippers and buttons.
- The international community has issued a series of safety standards and legislation to restrict and control the use of heavy metals in consumer products, and the European Union has restricted the presence of heavy metals through regulations on toys, REACH (link), RoHS and food contact materials (link).
Our laboratory has developed and validated several methods to detect the presence of formaldehyde in materials and in indoor air (link to VOCs), and also heavy metals and other common allergens, e.g. aromatic amines derived from azocolorants in textiles and preservatives in detergents. We have developed a specific allergen screening test for the simultaneous quantification (both in finished products and in the raw materials used for their formulation) of the most commonly used allergens:
- Amyl cinnamal
- Benzyl alcohol
- Cinnamyl alcohol
- Citral (neral + geranial)
- Amylcinnamyl alcohol
- Benzyl salicilate
- Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde (Lyral®)
- Anisyl alcohol
- Benzyl cinnamate
- Butylphenyl methylpropional (Lilial)
- Benzyl benzoate
- Hexyl cinnamal
- Methyl 2-octynoate
- Alpha-isomethyl ionone