Half of all consumer products contain fragrance. More than 3,000 chemicals add fragrance to consumer goods worldwide. Nearly 200 of those chemicals are voluntarily restricted by the fragrance industry. The U.N. has designated a third of fragrance chemicals as dangerous. Seven are possible carcinogens, and 15 have been banned from Europe. None are required to be disclosed to consumers, per U.S. federal regulation.
Starting this year, Unilever is voluntarily disclosing online the fragrance ingredients included in individual products sold in the U.S. and Europe, down to 0.01 percent of the product formulation, along with details of the scent the fragrance ingredients bring to the product. The project is to be completed by 2018.
In Europe, Unilever home and personal care products are already labeled with fragrance allergens in line with stringent European Union regulations. The company is expanding this to its full, multibillion-dollar portfolio of U.S. personal care brands, including Dove, Noxzema, Lever 2000 and NEXXUS haircare.