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Safety of aroma diffusers a concern in Taiwan

Methanol, DEP found in samples of aroma diffusers in northern Taiwan

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(Unsplash, volant photo)

(Unsplash, volant photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Consumers’ Foundation has expressed concern about the plethora of scent diffusers in Taiwan that are insufficiently regulated and may pose health risks.

Among the 13 samples purchased from retailers and cosmetics stores in New Taipei and Taipei as well as e-commerce platforms between November and December in 2021, one was found to contain 60 ppm of methanol and another 10,000 ppm of diethyl phthalate (DEP), used as a plasticizer, the foundation said in a press conference on Monday (June 6).

Methanol is a carcinogen and a source of indoor air pollution, while exposure to DEP could result in breast cancer or endometrial cancer in women and inhibit male reproductive capacity, according to the foundation. Another two items were found to be poorly labeled.

Meanwhile, six EU-listed allergy-inducing chemicals were present in nine of the samples. These include hydroxycitronellal, coumarin, butylphenyl methylpropional, linalool, limonene, and alpha-isomethyl ionone.

The foundation accused the government of failing to address calls for better regulation on relevant fragrance products and demanded prompt action. Safety standards are needed to help protect the health of consumers, it urged.

Safety of aroma diffusers a concern in Taiwan
Taiwan's Consumers' Foundation holds press conference on safety of aroma diffusers. (Consumers' Foundation photo)