The move has come about because of a grant awarded by the Research Institute of Fragrance Materials (RFIM), which is sponsoring the research in an effort to provide more light on this area for the fragrance companies it represents.
The grant has been secured by the England-based Liverpool John Moores University and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which is based in the Washington D.C.
Non-animal testing methods
The proposal for the research has been outlined as: "The use of a novel non-animal platform to characterize respiratory effects of fragrance materials."
The IIVS expands on this mission by stating that the project will combine computational approaches as well as in chemico techniques, and includes a testing plan in harmony with concepts for the OECD Adverse Outcome Pathway program.
The ability to evaluate the impact of fragrances is particularly relevant for the cosmetics, personal care and perfume industry, which has been hit by a growing body of consumer and scientific evidence underlining allergies to certain fragrances.
In particular, reactions to allergies have been linked to symptoms such as asthma and other related respiratory issues, particularly in children.
Body of evidence points to allergies from fragrances
Cosmetics Design has reported on a number of scientific studies that have outlined medical conditions associated with fragrances, including research conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
"The ability to evaluate the effect of fragrance materials on the respiratory system is significant for many industries. This project is expected to deliver far-reaching benefits to the scientific community for evaluating respiratory irritation and sensitization," said Dr. Holger Behrsing, principal scientist at IIVS and primary investigator on the project.
"We are pleased that RIFM has chosen to promote the use of a non-animal approach for this investigation."