Concerns of environmental and health groups leads firm to review scientific data on the fragrance chemical

Household chemical manufacturer SC Johnson will re-examine scientific data on the fragrance chemical galaxolide, under pressure from environmental and health groups who argue that galaxolide is persistent, bioaccumulative and highly toxic to aquatic life.

An open letter from Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), signed by scientists, academics, and health professionals, urges SC Johnson to phase out galaxolide. The letter accuses the company of relying on ‘unpublished, industry-generated data’ to downplay the chemical’s risks. The letter adds that publically available information, including modelling data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), shows galaxolide to be persistent.

SC Johnson responded, saying it plans to conduct a ‘deliberate review’ of the studies highlighted by WVE. However, the company stated that the environmental organisation’s conclusions differ from its own, and those of the EU and the EPA. The EU concluded that galaxolide did not fulfil the criteria of a persistent, bioaccumulative or toxic (PBT) substance, and that the EPA found it to be moderately persistent but inherently degradable, SC Johnson said.