Let’s Talk Fragrance
Let’s talk about fragrance, or parfum or perfume or a million other names ;) Synthetic scents or “fragrance” represent an unidentified mixture of ingredients including carcinogens, allergens, respiratory irritants, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic chemicals and environmental toxicants. These artificial scents can be found in all kinds of body care and cosmetic products, as well as air fresheners, cleaning materials and laundry detergents.
According to the Campaign for Safer Cosmetics, hair products are especially problematic. More than 95 percent of shampoos, conditioners and styling products contain fragrance as an ingredient. I’m sure you’ll agree that we all want our hair to smell good, but we could do without the use of toxic ingredients.
Research conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name brand fragrance products. But it doesn’t stop there — none of these chemicals were actually listed on the label.
In general, there at least 3,000 ingredients that could possibly be used to form a product’s scent. That’s according to the online “Transparency List” put out by the International Fragrance Association, an industry trade group. It may seem unbelievable, but the FDA does not even currently require fragrance and cosmetic makers to disclose exactly what they are using to scent products. If companies are using truly natural ingredients, then why be shy? Many will say that their formulas are proprietary and they don’t want other companies copying them. The FDA website also states how the agency cannot legally require companies to warn about allergens in cosmetics like they do with food.
Are you wondering why companies would continue to use synthetic scents if they’re so bad for our health? The answer is straightforward — they are cheaper. Synthetic scents can be an extremely cheap way to give everything from shampoo to lotion to candles a desirable scent. Unfortunately, just because you enjoy a scent, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.