Toxins in fragrance can still be found in products labeled unscented!
We have come to love scents. Scented candles, a new car smell, perfumes, body washes, dryer sheets…almost any item you find in your house likely contains the simple word “fragrance” on the end of the ingredients. About 95% of the chemicals in commercial fragrances contain petrochemicals.
What is in Fragrance?
Fragrance is one word, however it is not “one” ingredient. The word fragrance is trade protected (due to a loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging Act of 1973: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/27/toxic-perfume-chemicals.aspx) and can contain any number of over 3,100 chemicals. Many of these have never been tested for safety.
Is Fragrance Toxic?
Some are known to be toxic to the immune system, respiratory system, reproductive system and organ toxicity. They can cause asthma, eczema, migraines, and other sensitivities. Many of the fragrance ingredients are phthalates (a known carcinogen). Phthalates can result in kidney and liver damage, early breast development, and birth defects. Parabens is another common possibility. Parabens are known to interfere with hormone production.
Knowing your body absorbs everything put on your skin within seconds you want to be careful about what you are applying. Toxins accumulate in our bodies over time so the key is to cut out and eliminate those we can control. Go through your daily routine in your head and consider how many items you have applied with toxic ingredients (shampoo, soap, hand soap, perfume, body lotion, detergent residue on clothing, cleaning products…the list is endless.
What can you do?
Read your labels. Next time you think about buying that can of air freshener, perfume, scented body lotion or wash-check the label. If the bottle is scented by using essential oils that is what will appear on the label. If the bottle is scented with a combination (see previous blog post about lavender essential oil) you will find it written on the label.
What if your bottle says it’s Unscented?
This is tricky. Unscented means that fragrances have been added to cover up other scents. If you are looking for no toxic fragrances added you want your label to say “Fragrance Free”
There are simple solutions.
I make my own perfume with an essential oil combination I like. No toxins and I get the benefits of the aromatherapy my choice of oils brings. While some people still want a scent to their items some are safer than others. Natural Fragrance Oils are produced using only pure essential oils and aromatic isolates derived solely from natural, raw botanical sources. They are free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, glycols, petrochemicals and/or other solvents. They can be plant based so they are vegan friendly as well.
It can be overwhelming to try and change too much at once. Instead, think about the next time you need to purchase new soap, etc and replace it with a safer brand.