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IFA Conference 9th June 2012, Holborn


IFA Conference 9th June 2012, Holborn Essential Oils: Ecological & Other Issues Surrounding their Use Tony Burfield Cropwatch Quick Definition of an Essential Oil An ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: IFA Conference 9th June 2012, Holborn

IFA Conference 9th June 2012, Holborn
  • Essential Oils Ecological Other Issues
    Surrounding their Use
  • Tony Burfield
  • Cropwatch

Quick Definition of an Essential Oil
  • An essential oil is the volatile oil produced by
    steam, steam and water, or water distillation of
    volatile oil-bearing vegetable plant matter. The
    vapours are condensed to yield a water condensate
    and an essential oil that can be separated off
    (usually by gravity). Citrus peel oils, are also
    referred to as essential oils these are the
    mechanically cold-pressed from the rinds of
    citrus fruits. In practice, certain "essential
    oils" are also produced by the distillation of
    oleo-resins and absolutes.
  • During the distillation process, the essential
    oil can be continually separated off from
    condensed water in a purpose-built separating
    vessel (traditionally a Florentine flask) which
    can be modified to isolate oils either lighter or
    heavier than water. Once tapped off, it is
    usually necessary to dry the oil over an inert
    material, such as anhydrous sodium sulphate.

Modern Still Room, Morocco
Vegetable Matter Sources
  • Essential oils may be present in many different
    types of plant structures (wood, bark, leaves,
    stems, flowers, stigmas, reproductive parts etc.)
    at concentrations ranging from thousandths of a
    percent to one or several percent. Oil is often
    contained in specialised secretory structures
    which include secretory cells, ducts, cavities,
    glandular trichomes etc. The yield of essential
    oils from seeds can often be high - sometimes in
    the several tens of percentage - but for the
    majority of other materials, the main range is
    0.1 to 1. Essential oils are defined by source
    species identifying botanist, part of plant
    used, chemotype geographic origin. Genetically
    modified plant matter cannot be used as an
    essential oil source in the EU for essential oils
    for use in food flavourings cosmetics.
  • Essential oils are not solvent extracted
    materials (where solvents might include carbon
    dioxide, benzene, toluene, acetone, ethanol,
    hexane etc.) this list also includes absolutes,
    products of dry (destructive) distillation and
    molecular distilled products. It should be noted
    that perfumery absolutes frequently contain
    synthetics to boost their radiance and
    diffusiveness perfumery absolutes have featured
    recently in aromatherapy magazines.

Mobile Still (UK) used to isolate angelica root
Natural Ingredient Usage Declines.
  • The usage of naturals has recently declined in
    cosmetics toiletries due to downward pressure
    on ingredient costs (synthetics are comparatively
    cheaper), erratic supply (climatic geophysical
    events political events demand pressures)
    from stability compositional issues.
  • Under existing EU HS policy, natural complex
    substances are treated as a collection of
    individual composite chemicals. The vast majority
    of essential oils, absolutes resinoids contain
    several of the 26 SCCP allergens, which may have
    to be labelled in product under EU Directive
    2003/15/EC (now under review). The desire by
    cosmetic / household product manufacturers to
    avoid excessive product labelling has previously
    lead to some decline in the overall usage of
    essential oils.

Essential Oil Trading a Bureaucratic Nightmare.
  • Those who used to be chemists technicians
    for traders often now spend their working hours
    generating pieces of paper up to thirty per
    single essential oil transaction. Thus
  • Analysis conforms to specification?
  • Naturalness Certification?
  • Organic Certification?
  • Approved for food use (?) wrt heavy metals
    content, free of BSE, aflatoxins, dioxins,
    pesticides, GMOs, PCBs, food allergens etc.
  • Kosher and/or Halal certified?
  • SCCP Allergen declaration?
  • Concentration of actives within food law limits?
    e.g. thujone(s), pulegone(s).
  • IFRA certificate? etc etc

Aromatherapy Essential Oils
  • Many essential oils produced in bulk are,
    traditionally, perfumery or flavour materials.
    Perfumers do not necessarily require oils to be
    pure, just consistent in quality batch to batch,
    and to be able to achieve the desired effect in
    product. This has lead to some problems for
    Aromatherapists who require pure essential oils,
    100 derived from the named botanical source.
  • Aromatherapists also use certain oils which they
    believe have efficacious properties and bring
    benefits to clients in application, these oils
    are not necessarily always those in the
    mainstream of popular use, for example rosemary
    oil verbenone type, or Helichrysum italicum ssp.
    serotinum. This has lead to the establishment of
    a small industry of specialist essential oil
    distillers supplying the Aromatherapy market.

Essential Oils in Short Supply
  • In the first part of 2012, essential oils such
    as Indian Black Pepper, Cananga, Cedarwood
    Virginia, Citronella (both Javan Chinese),
    Lavender oil French, Litsea cubeba, Orange oil
    bitter, Star anise, legally obtained Sandalwood
    East Indian, Rosewood oil Brazilian (CITES),
    Nutmeg oil are amongst a list of others that have
    been scarce, very expensive or virtually
    unavailable spot.

Threatened Species
  • Few essential oil users can be unaware of the
    situation where aromatic plants trees either
    have been-, or are being-, over-harvested to the
    point of extinction, particularly in the cases of
    agarwood (oud), rosewood, Cedrela odorata,
    cedarwood Kenyan, sandalwood East Indian, costus,
    candeila isolates (for ?-bisabolol) styrax oils
    to name but a few. A more complete list is shown
    at www.cropwatch.org/Threatened20Aromatic20Speci

Sandalwood Oil East Indian
  • Legally obtained sandalwood oil E.I. (Santalum
    album) is virtually non-existent spot from the
    effects of disease and over-exploitation. Any
    production (est. 70kg/y) goes to the Indian
    sandalwood soap industry.
  • The completely differently profiled Australian
    sandalwood oil Santalum spicatum (containing 10
    farnesol) often substituted in aromatherapy.
    Errwhy? Its classified (DPD) as Xi R43 Irritant
  • Australian Santalum album oil producers are now
    calling their sandalwood oil E.I. which has
    upset many senior figures in the e.o. trade.
  • Santalum oils from minor sandalwood spp. are also
    sold by aromatherapy oil suppliers. These
    materials usually have no proper safety
    assessment and any beneficial health effects are

Rosewood Oil
  • Use of Rosewood oil is still being recommended in
    current aromatherapy magazines but the genuine
    oil is completely commercially unavailable due to
    the outcomes of the actions of CITES.
  • The use of this oil from an over-exploited S.
    American species was always unethical, but few
    previous users seemed to be aware of the issues
    (why not?).

Threatened Species commercially exploited for
oil Baobab Tree
Threatened Species commercially exploited for
oil Argan Tree
Adulteration of Essential Oils
  • Adulteration has been a feature of the
    essential oil trade since its beginnings
    although a state of denial about this practice
    frequently exists amongst sellers. Cropwatch
    published a much plagiarised article on
    adulteration at http//www.cropwatch.org/adultera
  • but new fiddles are constantly coming to
    light i.e. the adulteration of US peppermint oils
    with (cheaper) Chinese Mentha arvensis oils.

Clary Sage growing in Morocco
Hazard Risk
  • Few essential oils are without hazard, risk or
    safety phrases under REACH. Labelling protocols
    and Safety Data Sheets have to follow the EU CLP
    Regulation 1272/2008 (CLP is the European version
    of GHS).
  • For example according to IFRA-IOFI 2011, Clary
    Sage Oil under DSD is Xi Irritant, R38-43-51/53,
  • and under UN-GHS is FL 4, SCI 2, SS 1, EDI 2A,
    EH A2,C3.
  • Key R38irritating to skin R43may cause
    sensitisation by skin contact
  • R51/53Toxic to aquatic organisms, may
    cause long-term adverse
  • effects in the aquatic environment

Clary Sage Oil Components
Clary sage Linalyl acetate 60 ATO, ATD NC, ATI ND SCI 3, EH A2 N R51/53
Clary sage Linalool 20 ATO 5(3000) ATD NC ATI ND SCI 2 EH A3 Xi R38
Clary sage Geraniol 2 ATO 5(4200) ATD NC ATI ND SCI 2 EDI 1 SS 1 EH A2 Xi R38-41-43
Clary sage Geranyl acetate 2 ATO NC ATD, ATI ND SCI 3 EH A2,C2 N R51/53
Clary sage Limonene 1 ATO, ATD NC ATI ND SCI 2 SS 1 EH A1,C1 Xi R38-43, N R50/53
Harmful Components in Essential Oils?
  • Peroxides? (levels increase in some aged oils)
  • CMRs 1 2? (Carcinogens, Mutagens,
    Reprotoxicants) including estragole,
    methyleugenol safrole.
  • Allergens? e.g. cinnamic aldehyde, citral
  • Irritants? e.g. alpha-terpineol, terpinen-4-ol
  • (Allegedly) environmentally harmful components?
    e.g. limonene
  • Phototoxicants? e.g. furocoumarins
  • Highly toxic components e.g. benzyl cyanide
  • Corrosive components e.g. carvacrol, thymol

Banned essential oils
  • Cropwatch at www.cropwatch.org/Banned20essen
  • divides this group into threatened spp. and
    toxic/end-use restricted essential oils. Those
    oils with adverse effects towards human health
    include Elecampne, Croton, Jaborandi,
    Horseradish, Karo Karunde, Melaleuca bracteata,
    Savin, Sassafras etc.
  • Cropwatch previously successfully challenged
    IFRAs ban on Melissa oil and the EUs proposed
    restriction on citrus oils re their furocoumarin
    content. Cropwatchs arguments resisting
    legislation against essential oils based on
    their alleged sensitiser content has been
    extensively plagiarised by essential oil trade

Acronym Index
  • BSE Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
  • DSD Dangerous Substances Directive 67/548/EEC
  • CITES Convention on International Trade in
    Endangered Species of Wild Fauna Flora
  • CLP Classification, Labelling and Packaging of
    Substances and Mixtures (CLP Regulation EU
  • CMRs Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Reprotoxic
  • EU European Union
  • GMOs Genetically Modified Organisms
  • HS Health and Safety
  • IFRA International Fragrance Association
  • IOFI International Organisation of the Flavour
  • PCBs Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • REACH Registration, Evaluation Authorisation
    Restriction of Chemicals regulation
  • SCCP The EUs Scientific Committee for Consumer
    Products (now the SCCS)
  • UN-GHS Globally Harmonized System of
    Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (inc.
    essential oils)
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