Sniffing out banned scent compounds

Scented toys are growing in popularity, but a recent investigation to test for the emission of fragrance allergens from such toys using headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry has revealed that several contain substances banned in the European Union on health and safety grounds. 55 banned fragrances can be present at up to just 100 micrograms per gram if their presence in the toy is technically unavoidable. However, scientists in the Department of Product Safety at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin, Germany, have found high levels of the plasticizers diethyl phthalate and diisobutyl adipate, in various toys tested as well as measurable amounts of permitted fragrances. More worryingly, however, they detected three banned substances of which benyzl benzoate was well above the 100 microgram tolerance limit.