Buy "No Fragrance Added".
Perfume is showing up in a lot more places than behind our ears or on our wrists. In an effort to increase the marketing appeal of their products, manufacturers are adding “fragrance” to thousands of products, ranging from toothpaste, deodorant, tampons and shampoo, to laundry detergent, dryer sheets, plastics, house paints and even pesticides.
Why doesn’t this pass the “environmental smell test”?
- According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, fragrances are actually the most common cause of skin problems.
- Phthalates, a common ingredient in fragrances, appear to feminize the reproductive organs of baby boys, according to studies conducted for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
- Fragrances may trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions, according to the American Lung Association.
- Wastewater is contaminated with fragrance that cannot be removed when it washes down the drain with household cleaning products. It ends up in streams and rivers, where it’s absorbed by wildlife. Researchers at Stanford University have shown that mussels lost their ability to clear their bodies of poisons when exposed to minuscule levels of common fragrance musks.
What can you do?
- Save smelling “special” for special occasions. When it comes to work, shopping, or activities around the house, leave the perfume in the bottle.
- Shop for “no added fragrance” products. “Fragrance free” items are your next best option, though they may actually contain fragrances that have been masked by other synthetic chemicals.
- Read labels. Avoid phthalates.
- Reduce use of scented products overall. That includes scented candles, air fresheners, general purpose cleaners, and many cosmetics and personal care products.
Visit Personal Care on theworldwomenwant.com website for more tips and links to some natural smelling resources.
This article in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal offers a terrific overview of the many health and environmental concerns that have been raised by the increased use of fragrances.