Friday, February 18, 2011

European Commission Bans Musk Xylene

European Commission Bans Musk Xylene February 18, 2011

BRUSSELS, February 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "The European Commission has just announced its decision to ban the fragrance material Musk xylene under the new European Chemicals Legislation REACH, bringing EU regulations in line with the global IFRA Standards." EU Regulation Follows Fragrance Industry's Voluntary Global Ban - Source IFRA

This isn't news if you've been a perfumer or perfume enthusiast in the last ten years, but it is perhaps noteworthy to mention that banned nitro musks are still widely available through various manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, many of which are based in China and India. I've listed some links below where you can read about the different types of musks that are available, including the newer, safer alternatives which have been replacing nitro musks since the 1980s - 1990s.

Musk Xylol (Musk Xylene) being sold (offered through the site "for educational purposes only") at is described as a "fatty dry sweet musk; tenacious" base note.

An artificial musk was obtained by Albert Baur in 1888 by condensing toluene with isobutyl bromide in the presence of aluminium chloride, and nitrating the product. It was discovered accidentally as a result of Baur's attempts at producing a more effective form of trinitrotoluene (TNT)." Synthetic musk - Wikipedia

According to The new perfume handbook By Nigel Groom (1997), nitro musks Musk Xylene (Musk Baur) and Musk Ketone are no longer used.

" (...) Japan has completely banned musk xylene; the United States in 1979 forbade companies from using musk xylene in cosmetic products that may be ingested; and the German detergent industry voluntarily removed musk xylene from production in 1993. (...) Some individual companies also report that they are beginning to phase nitro musks out of their products. For example, The Body Shop states on its website that it currently sells products containing musk xylene, musk ketone and polycyclic musk, but that new products are being developed without these ingredients to replace existing products." Chemicals: Cosmetics Identified in Breast Milk: Nitro Musks -

"Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect (European Union classification); Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect; Explosive; Risk of explosion by shock, friction, fire or other sources of ignition; Dangerous for the environment; Very toxic to aquatic organisms European Union - Classification & Labelling" Musk xylene - Human Toxome Project

Synthesized Musk (Malin + Goetz) May 29, 2008

Fragrance Ingredient: Musks Bois de Jasmin blog, November 23, 2005

Here is my previous post on the subject: Musk Xylene, Musk Ketone: The Dangers of Nitro Musks April 24, 2008 Pink Manhattan