IDEA - International Dialogue for the Evaluation of Allergens

Welcome to IDEA

The IDEA project (International Dialogue for the Evaluation of Allergens) is designed to provide a broadly agreed and transparent framework for assessing fragrance sensitizers globally.  It is an opportunity to build partnerships between the international fragrance industry and its stakeholders to improve the risk assessment of those fragrance ingredients identified as allergens for better consumer protection.

The IDEA work plan, endorsed by Tonio Borg (EU Commissioner for Health), is a clear roadmap designed to achieve the goals outlined above.

IDEA consists of a series of workshops bringing leading international scientists together to reach consensus on improving existing methodologies. Recommendations made at the workshop are then followed up in industry or research projects. Every year a public Annual Review will take place under the auspices of DG SANCO. 

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Tasks of the work plan

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    Characterization of fragrance allergens

    Some fragrance ingredients have the potential to cause dermal sensitization. However, such fragrance allergens may be described in various ways and the need to define them via a collaborative approach between stakeholders was clearly identified. A clear understanding of what is a skin sensitizer, what are the tools to identify it and how to combine these tools adequately remains a prerequisite to characterize a fragrance allergen. Continue reading

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    Definition & characterization of 'allergens of specific concern'

    Various sources of information indicate that some fragrance allergens present a ‘significant risk to the general population’ while others do not. Industry, the dermatological community, and regulators will work together to establish a common understanding on how to integrate clinical, cosmetovigilance and exposure data into the risk assessment in order to produce an accurate definition of ‘allergens of specific concern’. Continue reading

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    Risk assessment of pre- & pro-haptens

    By definition, pre- and pro-haptens are not allergenic themselves but can give rise to allergenic species via abiotic (pre-hapten) or biotic transformations (pro-hapten). A better understanding of biological and chemical mechanisms responsible for pre- and pro-haptens activation is needed in view to improve the risk assessment of these materials. Continue reading

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    Validity of the QRA methodology & possibilities of further refinement

    The Dermal Sensitization Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) is considered by the industry as an important step forward in the risk assessment of those fragrance ingredients identified as allergens. This method has been implemented by the fragrance industry since 2006. However, its effectiveness has to be formally evaluated and further refinements should be considered before this method became a standard risk management tool. Continue reading