1. Is it safe to use?
Extensive testing has shown that Citriodiol® has a low toxicity profile. As a product traditionally applied to the skin, it is particularly important that it has a low rate of dermal absorption, is not a skin sensitiser and is not classified as a dermal irritant. It is, however, a category 2 eye irritant, and formulations with a Citriodiol® content of 10% or greater will also be classified as eye irritants without specific data to the contrary. Product labels should be clear that application should not encourage spraying on or around the eyes. Citirodiol® does contain some natural allergens that have the potential to cause an allergic reaction in previously sensitised individuals, this needs to be reflected on the product label even though Citriodiol® is not classified as a sensitiser.
2. Is it safe to use on children?
Yes. Our quantitative human health risk assessment supports application to children from the age of 3 months. However, because of the very thin epidermis of children this age, and the often increased sensitivity of skin, we recommend application from 6 months. Please note, however, that requirements may vary by country so please do advise us of your specific requirements and we can provide more tailored advice.
3. Is it safe for pregnant women?
Yes. While we have not conducted studies directly on pregnant women for ethical reasons, data generated from a multi-generation toxicity studies, together with the very low rate of dermal absorption of Citriodiol®, supports unrestricted use by pregnant women. This conclusion was supported by the US EPA when it registered the product more than a decade ago allowing its unrestricted use by pregnant women when used in accordance with the product label.
4. Is it safe for the environment?
Yes, Citriodiol® is a ready biodegradable material, which means that once it leaves the skin or is disposed of and enters the waterways and STPs, it will break down very quickly. Because of this rapid degradation, there is no opportunity for any significant amounts to build up in the soil, water or air and alter the otherwise existing ecosystem.
5. Can it be applied with sunscreen?
While we have not conducted any tests to prove the safety of Citriodiol® when applied with sunscreen products, we are not aware of any evidence that would prevent their use together where it is appropriate to do so (e.g. for repelling day-biting mosquitoes in tropical climates) and the labelling requirements of both products are followed.
As Citriodiol® has a very low rate of dermal absorption and must evaporate from the skin to be effective it should be applied after a sunscreen.
6. Can it be applied under clothing?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that insect repellents are not applied under clothing. This is because there is an increase in the rate of dermal absorption due to perspiration.
7. Can it be used safely in an aerosol?
Yes. Whilst Citrefine is not currently planning to support an aerosol product within the Biocidal Product Family, the inhalation toxicity of an aerosol product containing 50% Citriodiol® (with an average particle size of <50 µm (MMAD) has been tested for inhalation toxicity and the result for this product formulation was LC50 >2.06 mg/L (rat). We would suggest that the safety of other aerosol products containing Citriodiol® could be assessed on their similarity to the 50% Citriodiol® formulation tested for acute inhalation toxicity considering the particle size generated by the actuator used on the aerosol product. Citrefine are considering including the use of a Bag on Valve (BoV) delivery system in the Product Family that will be submitted under the BPR. The use of BoV over conventional aerosols brings several benefits such as exclusion of the use of extremely flammable gases, better product evacuation (so less product remains in can at end of life), no consumer contact with propellant and reduced use of VOCs, which is better for the environment.