A toxicological and dermatological assessment of aryl alkyl alcohols when used as fragrance ingredients

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The aryl alkyl alcohol (AAA) fragrance ingredients are a diverse group of chemical structures with similar metabolic and toxicity profiles. The AAA fragrances demonstrate low acute and subchronic dermal and oral toxicity. No carcinogenicity in rats or mice was observed in 2-year chronic testing of benzyl alcohol or alpha-methylbenzyl alcohol: the latter did induce species and gender-specific renal adenomas in male rats at the high dose. There was no to little genotoxicity, mutagenicity, or clastogenicity in the mutagenic in vitro bacterial assays, and in vitro mammalian cell assays. All in vivo micronucleus assays were negative. NOAELs for maternal and developmental toxicity are far in excess of current human exposure levels. At concentrations likely to be encountered by consumers, AAA fragrance ingredients are non-irritating to the skin. The potential for eye irritation is minimal. With the exception of benzyl alcohol and to a lesser extent phenethyl and 2-phenoxyethyl AAA alcohols, human sensitization studies, diagnostic patch tests and human induction studies, indicate that AAA fragrance ingredients generally have no or low sensitization potential. Available data indicate that the potential for photosensitization is low. It is concluded that these materials would not present a safety concern at current levels of use as fragrance ingredients. (c) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • D. Belsito
  • D. Bickers
  • Magnus Bruze
  • P. Calow
  • M. L. Dagli
  • A. D. Fryer
  • H. Greim
  • Y. Miyachi
  • J. H. Saurath
  • I. G. Sipes
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • Fragrance ingredients, Aryl alkyl alcohols, Safety review
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S52-S99
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch