When we see the term “fragrance” on the label of products, you probably don’t think of chemicals. Essential oils or flower extracts may come to mind, but this is not always the case. Unfortunately, the word “fragrance” is a broadly used umbrella term for a concoction of toxic chemicals. Consumers may mistakenly believe that the word “fragrance” has a simple explanation, but it can have thousands of hidden meanings.
When the Environmental Working Group tested average fragrances, they contained about 14 chemicals that were not listed on the ingredient label. Synthetic scents can be found in the majority of personal care and household products such as shampoo, cosmetics, detergent, perfume, air freshener, candles, lotion, and other everyday products. Due to a loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, fragrance secrecy is legal to protect secret formulas. Shockingly, companies are not required to list the ingredients of the fragrance in their products. As a result, the public has been kept in the dark about fragrances which pose many potential health risks.
It is hugely necessary that the FDA work on finding effective ways of protecting the public’s health; there needs to be new laws set in place to prevent manufacturers from endangering the welfare of their consumers. You may choose to avoid products with fragrances by purchasing fragrance-free items, but this still does not mean that it is absent of chemicals. Unfortunately a small spritz has big consequences for your overall health.
Common Chemicals Found In Fragrances:
- Parabens: Synthetic preservatives known to interfere with hormone production.
- Phthalates: Another synthetic preservative that’s carcinogenic and linked to reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development, birth defects) and liver and kidney damage.
- Synthetic musks: These are linked to hormone disruption and are thought to persist and accumulate in breast milk, body fat, umbilical cord blood, and the environment.
Side affects caused by synthetic fragrances include: Headache, migraines, nausea, dizziness, upper respiratory issues, asthma, hormonal changes, dermatitis, allergies, cancer, and more. Overall, it’s best to avoid products with “fragrance” or "fragrance-free" on the label that avoid a detailed description some labeled.
At My Fluffy Puffs, all of our fragrance selections are Certified Vegan and Phtalate-Free to ensure both healthy hair and body.
Safe Alternative Fragrances:
Whenever you shop, it is important to take a look at the ingredients. If the label seems fishy, just leave it on the shelf and away from your body.
Ryan, Jenn. What Does the Word Fragrance Really Mean? http://theheartysoul.com
Barry, Lucinda (2012, September 29) Scent of Danger. http://www.scientificamerican.com
Minton, Barbara (2014, December 15)
5 Toxic Chemicals Probably Found in Your Shampoo. Retrieved from http://naturalsociety.com