The problem with scented products is not so much the smell itself as the chemicals that produce the scent, or fragrance if you prefer. Today's perfume is not made from flowers like they once were in the Victorian era, but rather from toxic chemicals.
Ninety-five percent of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxics and sensitizers - just one perfume can contain more than 500 chemicals. Click to continue reading...
Another common ingredient in scents is toluene. Toluene triggers asthma attacks and is known to cause asthma in previously healthy people.
The only safe assumption about scented products is that they contain numerous toxic chemicals which constantly vaporize into the air and attach themselves to hair, clothing, and surroundings – not much different than how tobacco smoke can linger on any item for years!
Legend of a Label
Since companies can get away with incomplete labeling, follow these guidelines to ensure healthy choices:
ü Choose products that specifically list all ingredients, not generalized ones.
ü Examine the list of ingredients to check that the word fragrance does NOT appear. Essential oils should be listed separately and are NOT included in a general label of simply fragrance.
ü Be prudent, because even if the label advertises “unscented,” most manufacturers use masking agents that block our ability to perceive odors; so, not only is the fragrance still in the product, but even more chemicals are present to mask other chemicals and our responses to them – that’s scary, now they’re truly messing with our sense of smell.
ü Avoid phthalates and parabens (often listed as methylparabens); they disrupt reproductive and thyroid function.
ü Always inspect labels each time you make a new purchase because formulas change.
ü Since no legal definitions exist for natural, nontoxic, and hypoallergenic, those words don’t signify a healthier product unless every ingredient is identified.
13 Most Common Chemicals Found in Fragrance Products*
1. BENZALDEHYDE – found in perfume, cologne, hairspray, laundry bleach, deodorants, detergent, Vaseline™ lotion, shaving cream, shampoo, bar soap, and dishwasher detergent.
Narcotic. Sensitizer. Local anesthetic, central nervous system depressant. Irritant to the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, lungs, and GI tract – causing nausea and abdominal pain. May cause kidney damage. Do NOT use with contact lenses.
2. ACETONE – found in cologne, dishwashing liquid and detergent, nail enamel and remover.
3. BENZYL ACETATE – found in perfume, cologne, shampoo, fabric softener, stickup air fresheners, dishwashing liquid and detergent, soap, hairspray, bleach, after shave and deodorants.
4. BENZYL ALCOHOL – found in perfume, cologne, soap, shampoo, nail enamel, color and remover, air fresheners, laundry bleach and detergents, Vaseline™ lotion, deodorants, and fabric softeners.
5. CAMPHOR – found in perfume, shaving cream, nail enamel, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, nail color, and stickup air fresheners.
6. ETHANOL – found in perfume, hairspray, shampoo, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid and detergents, laundry detergents, shaving cream, soap, Vaseline™ lotions, air fresheners, nail color and remover, paint and varnish removers.
7. ETHYL ACETATE – found in after shave, cologne, perfume, shampoo, nail color, nail enamel remover, fabric softener, and dishwashing liquid.
8. LIMONENE – found in perfume, cologne, disinfectant sprays, bar soap, shaving cream, deodorants, nail color and removers, fabric softeners, dishwashing liquid, air fresheners, after shave, bleach, paint and varnish removers.
9. LINALOOL – found in perfume, cologne, bar soap, shampoo, hand lotion, nail enamel remover, bleach powder, fabric softeners, shaving cream, after shave and solid deodorant.
10. METHYLENE CHLORIDE – found in shampoo, cologne, paint and varnish removers.
11. a-PINENE – found in bar and liquid soap, cologne, perfume, shaving cream, deodorants, dishwashing liquids, and air fresheners.
12. g-TERPINENE – found in cologne, perfume, soap, shaving creams, deodorants, and air fresheners.
13. a-TERPINEOL – found in perfume, cologne, laundry detergents, bleach powders, laundry bleaches, fabric softeners, stickup air fresheners, air fresheners, Vaseline™ lotion, cologne, soap, hairspray, after shave, and roll-on deodorants.
The following is an Open Letter sent by the President of the Environmental Health Network of California to fragrance-wearers. The information is SO valuable that excerpts from that letter are cited below with permission of its author.
Fragrance. There is more to meet the nose than just scent! Let's turn upside down
the wise counsel from our childhood: Stop, Look and Listen.
Before purchasing a perfume or other scented personal care or infant care product, as well as those sold for cleaning and maintenance projects, you may find it to your ultimate health advantage to:
LISTEN to the opinions of the already fragrance-sensitized people.
What the people already sickened by fragrance chemicals tell you should be heard – for the fragrance industry is merely trying to sell you products with components that otherwise they may well be having to pay toxic waste fees for proper disposal. What if that is the case? Where is your outrage? In any case, fragrances are released to market without substantiation of safety by the
LOOK at the label of the product for the word "Fragrance" or "Parfum” – such a commonly sold product is scented with petrochemical-derived fragrance, whose chemicals are absorbed through your skin and are also released into the air to adversely affect your health, and the health of untold others, through inhalation.
Also, LOOK for and purchase detergents and other cleaning and maintenance products that are made without petroleum.
STOP to think for a minute: Is it really in your best interest to use products containing petrochemical-derived fragrances that have been released to market without full substantiation of safety for carcinogenic, irritant, neurotoxic, sensitizing and teratogenic effects?
Please think of all the folks you encounter in doctors offices and all other healthcare facilities, your workplace or school; on public transit conveyances; in your place of worship; at restaurants, etc. As a matter of immediately helping the health of others – and long term your own health and the health of your children – perhaps you'll see it as your personal responsibility to avoid adding dangerous chemicals to your body, the bodies of your children and grandchildren, to the bodies of your friends and colleagues and to the air and water for all.
FRAGRANCES LEAVE THE USER TO AFFECT EVERYONE IN BREATHING RANGE – hours, days, weeks, and months after the fragrance-user has vacated an area. That is one heck of a potent pollutant.
Recent studies show that petrochemical-derived fragrance chemicals pollute the bodies of users and nonusers, as well as the ambient air, land, water . . . and creatures other than simply humans.
Am I supposed to be surprised that far too many mainstream medical doctors do not/will not understand the harm that is associated with modern petrochemical-derived fragrances? Most health care offices and facilities allow their employees to wear scented products; they’re obviously practicing health not living it. So, as I see it, it is up to the public to learn as much as it can about the products forced upon them by an unregulated industry – avoiding superfluous "body burdens" begins with informed purchases.
Benzene, for example, is found in a wide variety of products, including detergents, plastics, dyes, drugs, flavors and fragrances, not to mention, tobacco smoke. But, why is attention given only to benzene in tobacco smoke and yet not word one about how it is commonly used as an ingredient in flavors and fragrances – products that one comes in contact with daily?
The harmful effects of benzene have been known for years; yet benzene is widely
used with no regard to the numbers of products one is exposed to on a daily basis, from products one uses, as well as from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of products used by others.
Hence, one is a user whether a primary user or a secondary – nonetheless, an unwilling recipient of the fragrance and health consequences that its complex “toxic soup” of chemicals can impart.
We ALL are stakeholders when it comes to breathing.
Barb Wilkie, President of EHN
To find out more about the dangers of synthetic fragrances and how one city in
Uncovering Clues to Add LIFE to Your Years…NOT Merely Years to Your Life, Naturally
Dr. Gloria Gilbère (aka Dr. G), N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D.,
EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist
Creator of certificated courses to become a Wholistic Rejuvenist™ (CWR) and for post-graduate education for health professionals. Go to www.gloriagilbere.com and click on Wholistic Skin & Body Rejuvenation (WSBR™) for course outline. Available on-site at worldwide locations, and via distance-learning at your convenience globally.
Dr. Gilbère consults with client around the world via telephone and at her Institute in north Idaho,
*Based on 1991 EPA Study
Published by Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – ©2009/2010 Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, all rights reserved.
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