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The Health Risks of Perfume

(and Other Scented Products)

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Did you know that perfume is made of toxic chemicals that can injure your health? Many of the chemicals in perfume are the same chemicals in cigarette smoke, and yet there is no regulation of the fragrance industry. Many people are "bothered" by perfumes - developing headaches, sinus problems, and even asthma from exposures. Many have gotten sick or even disabled from wearing (or being exposed to) fragrances and using other scented products (me included). And fragrances are now used in almost every cleaning, laundry, and personal-care product on the market! These chemicals go directly into the bloodstream when applied to our skin and are also absorbed into the skin from our clothing. We also inhale the chemical fumes, which then go straight to our brains where they can do major harm. Many even have a "narcotic" effect, which is why some people seem "addicted" to their perfumes that is very similar to drug addiction.

Please take the time to read the following articles and educate yourself about the health risks to you and your family:

No Perfume Means Healthier Air! (compiled by "Breath of Fresh Air")

Fragrance-Free Encounters and No-Fragrance Spaces - Not Just a Personal Preference, but a Vital Matter of Health(written by Roberta Rigsby)
- to help the lay person understand the effects of scented products

Twenty Most Common Chemicals in Thirty-one Fragrance Products
[based on a] 1991 EPA Study (compiled by Julia Kendall)

Making Sense of Scents (compiled byJulia Kendall)

Identification of Polar Volatile Organic Compounds in Consumer Products and Common Microenvironments(full text of EPA Report used in perfume studies by Julia Kendall)

SPECT Scans of MCS Patient's Brain- before and after exposure to perfume

"No Perfume" Buttons- print out and make buttons or signs to help make others aware of the health problems caused by their fragranced products!!

(For more information about the toxicity of perfumes, please see the "Links to Related Sites" page.)



The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)- listing of "Common Indoor Air Pollutants" (PROOF from our Government that Fragrances are pollutants!!)

Smelling Good But Feeling Bad- Synthetic Perfumes, Colognes and Scents Are Turning Up Noses - article by Damon Franz and Holly Prall (Green Living E-magazine).

Colognes - Perfumes - Pesticides - Are They Slowly Killing You? - October 7th, 1999 - by columnist David Lawrence Dewey - "Reading provides knowledge...knowledge leads to answers."

Smells Can Make You Sick - by Rebecca Ephraim, RD, CCN,Conscious Choice, April 2002.

Good Scents Sense - Perfumes, fragrances can affect respiratory patients.

What the nose knows - Think twice before buying a loved one perfume, cologne! - (article) “The way to the heart is through the nose,” asserts Haarmann & Reimer, a leading fragrance manufacturer. But lovers may want to think twice about giving a bottle of cologne or perfume for Valentines Day, say some health advocates. Certain fragrances and their chemical constituents might trigger an allergic — rather than aphrodisiac — response. And some perfumes contain hidden ingredients that may pose longer-term hazards.'

noFragrance.org - SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH TRYING TO SMELL NICE? Nothing in itself. But the chemicals that are used to propagate fragrance can be quite toxic to some people. This isn't a matter of taste or unpleasantness; people who suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) become physically sick, often to the point of being incapacitated, when exposed to artificial fragrances. A minimal amount of exposure is enough to hurt. For instance, a trace of scented laundry detergent in a room can force an MCS sufferer in the room to flee—or get very sick.


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Final Thoughts from Jacki:

Next time when you start to spray on that perfume or use some other scented product, remember all these chemicals you're exposing yourself and those around you to! There's absolutely nothing "romantic" about these chemicals! Perfume as something "romantic" is merely a line fed to you by the perfume industry - don't buy into it! We've been brainwashed by the industry that we must "cover up" our natural scents with toxic chemicals - that our own scents are not acceptable. Once you make the break and get away from toxic scents, the smell of "naturally clean" is simply wonderful!




The Environmental Health Network of California has filed a petition with the FDA to have the fragrance "Eternity" by Calvin Klein declared misbranded. The basis of this petition is the lack of a warning label on the product informing consumers that all the materials in the product and the product has not been adequately tested for safety. After an independently-funded analysis of this product, it was found to contain chemicals known to be on the hazardous waste list and that cause neurological and other problems. For more information about this petition and how YOU can tell the FDA that you're in favor of the petition, please see: "The Environmental Health Network of California files Petition with the FDA".


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