• Most are derived from petrochemicals and contain unregulated neurotoxins, carcinogens and sensitisers capable of causing cancer, birth defects, respiratory and nervous system disorders, allergies, disruption of hormonal activity and reduction of sperm counts.
• Several hundred have been classified as toxic substances some of which are cited on EPA’s hazardous waste list as non-biodegradable and accumulative in living organisms and the environment.
• Many products listing the ingredient ‘fragrance’ contain synthetic fragrance chemicals. Manufacturers can legally hide hundreds of toxic ingredients in the one word —”fragrance”— without revealing what those ingredients are.
• Most synthetic frangrance chemicals have never been tested for human toxicity, so the short and long-term health risks associated with inhaling these chemicals is unknown.
The language used in the fragrance industry has become very muddied. Make sure to read labels carefully and avoid any product that lists ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’. Deceptive aroma chemical marketing is using terms such as ‘nature identical molecules’ to describe its chemical cocktail of synthetic fragrances. Choose products that are unscented or scented with 100% pure botanical essential oils derived from sustainable sources.
SOURCES: US EPA, Environmental Working Group (EWG) US National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (HIOSH) American Academy of Environmental Physicians US Children’s Environmental Health Centre US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Greenpeace