Clarifying the CLP Status of Augeo

Clarifying the CLP Status of Augeo

If you have been a long term user of Augeo Clean Multi, you are probably aware there has recently been some turbulence in its CLP classification status.  We would like to use this post to clear up any ongoing uncertainty over the current regulatory classification of Augeo, as well as how this effects its use as a reed diffuser base.

The History

Augeo has been widely used as a base for reed diffuser oils for several years.  It's full title is Augeo Clean Multi and it is manufactured by a company called Solvay who distribute it out to companies like ourselves in bulk.  Although this wasn't the primary use originally anticipated by Solvay (it is in fact designed as a solvent replacement for cleaning product formulations) it has quickly been adopted by the home-fragrance industry due  to several good characteristics:

  • Good evaporation profile - When mixed with fragrance oils and used with synthetic reeds, Augeo exhibits a nice even evaporation profile which means that diffusers will throw off an even scent for several weeks before depleting.
  • Low Odour - The molecule itself has a very mild and non-metallic odour which does not interfere with the final scent of the diffuser
  • Low VOC - This is more important for the American market, but under their regulations Augeo does not contribute to the VOC (volatile organic compounds) calculation of the finished product, allowing for more fragrance to potentially be added.
  • Eco Friendly - Augeo is derived from renewable glycerin making it more eco-friendly than some alternatives
  • Non Flammable - With a flash point of 91C it is not classified as flammable, simplifying the final CLP calculation of the finished diffuser.

Abnormal Test Results

Augeo has always carried a warning of potential eye irritation derived from Solvay's original testing of the product.  Under REACH rules however, a requirement to carry out further testing was imposed when the amount of Augeo imported into the EU reached a certain tonnage amount.  This is a normal process of safety testing which all chemicals must undergo according to EU law.  Many older chemicals have of course been thoroughly tested long ago, but since Augeo is a fairly new product it had not.

Solvay carried out the required tests in 2023 and in doing so discovered some potential results of concern.  Specifically, a concern was raised about the potential for possible damage to the unborn child when quantities of the product were ingested.  These results were not expected and the tests were small-scale, but Solvay took a precautionary approach and temporarily reclassified the product in line with these findings.  All downstream distributors and end-users were then asked to reclassify their own products in-line with the updated safety information.

It should be noted that despite the warnings, the product was still considered as safe for use in Reed Diffusers.  The abnormal results were only linked to ingestion of relatively large amounts of the product which would not be an expected risk of reed diffuser use.  No abnormalities were found or suggested via vapour inhalation.

Resolution of Testing

In December of 2023 Solvay contacted distributors again to confirm that they had redone their tests to specifically look at the issue of potential harm to the unborn child and with a more statistically significant testing.  This further testing did not show the same abnormal results as the original ones and confirmed that the product is indeed safe as originally thought.

At this point, we were advised that we could go back to the original CLP classification for the product (of simply being irritant to eyes) and that we could relabel any product that had carried the other warning.  Solvay expressed their full confidence in the safety of the product, especially in terms of use in air-care products.

To summarise, although there was an unfortunate scare caused by the additional testing of the product, you will now find Augeo promoted as a safe and effective reed diffuser base.  It continues to exhibit all the same benefits listed above and we will continue to recommend it as such.