Dozens if not hundreds of synthetic chemicals go into these fragrances! Here are just a few examples:
- Phthalates -- Endocrine disruptors that cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that affect the neurological and respiratory systems and are carcinogenic;
- Synthetic musks - which may also be endocrine disruptors and additionally, are persistent chemicals that remain in the environment and contaminate marine mammals.
If you’re thinking, naaaa, that can't be -- some overqualified government agency must test the products before allowing the public to be exposed to them -- think again. Advance safety testing is not required before products go to market. Even worse, it’s not even helpful to check product labels because the composition of some fragrances are considered a brand secret and kept confidential.
Even the products that are marked "unscented" don’t necessarily mean a thing. All “unscented” means is that the product doesn't have a “scented” smell! It could very well contain a "masking" fragrance that neutralizes the natural smell of all the other ingredients.
So, rather than guess which products are safe, use these tips!- Mix water, white vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. And if soap is a MUST, try Castile soap.
- Open the windows! Get rid of nasty air fresheners!
- Refer to the Guide to Less Toxic Products for a list of fragrance free and safe products.
- Check Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group's cosmetic safety database, to see if your favorite personal care products are safe! They also offer great alternatives for products that don’t make the cut.
- Be SURE that the words "fragrance" or "parfum" don’t appear in the ingredient list of cosmetics.
And finally, use fewer or eco-friendly cosmetics and reduce your use of perfume. (Personally, I can’t give up my Joe Malone perfume!)
- Elaine LaPersonerie - www.winkpr.comClick here for more of Elaine's posts.