Spraying on that deodorant or cologne is a vital part of dressing up for most. Many personal care products contain fragrances. These include everything ranging from your shampoos to lotions and other things. While this may make them smell nice, not many, know a dirty secret here. All these seemingly pleasant scents come with an extreme degree of toxicity, with chemicals that are linked to reproductive problems, hormonal disruptions, and cancer. A lot of major perfumes at department stores and retailers can be accurately defined as poison.
The fragrance that you are using can contain almost anything. Synthetic colognes and perfumes have a number of chemicals that have shown to be linked to allergies, reproductive toxicity, and cancer among other things.
What makes these fragrances toxic?
Over 17 popular fragrances were tested in 2010 by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working group. A number of toxic chemicals were found in just this small selection, which included:
- Phthalates and endocrine disruptors: These can cause an IQ drop of over 6 points in children whose mothers were exposed to them during their pregnancy.
- Diethyl Phthalate was also found, which has been linked to sperm damage in various studies.
- Must ketone is a skin irritant, and concentrates both breast milk and human fat tissue. It is also a suspected hormone disruptor.
- There were 24 other chemicals found that acted as allergens, triggering symptoms like skin irritation, rash, headaches, vomiting, violent coughing and others.
- A large portion of the chemicals that were used had not undergone any safety assessment at the date when the study was conducted.
With all these facts, it is obvious that those pleasant scents are not so pleasant after all. In addition to all of that, there are no limitations on fragrances. The only ingredients that manufacturers cannot use are banned substances. There are many substances in fragrances that have not been tested for their safety in humans. Companies and manufacturers are not required to reveal or list the ingredients or chemicals that they use, which makes it all worse.
Is there any regulation?
Cosmetic companies are required to list their ingredients on the labels as per the Federal Fair Packaging & Labeling Act, 1973- but fragrances are exempted from it, which means that consumers have no idea as to what they are using on their bodies. The fragrance industry is permitted to regulate itself through the IFRA trade association. However, they have not evaluated most of the chemicals being used either.
As per the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report, over 19% of the listed ingredients and 66% of the ‘secret ones’ that were discovered in various tests have not undergone any assessment for their safety. What makes this worse is that even tested chemicals have no reliability, for how ‘independent’ these tests are.
Thus, in the midst of all this- staying clear of toxic fragrances is important. You can use pure essential oils and natural alternatives, which will be free of all these chemicals in the other products that the market has to offer.
Until next time, Stay SAFE!