Toxin Talk: Synthetic Fragrances

Thursday, March 8, 2018

As I get older, I'm realizing that I'm turning into a more extreme version of my mother. Which is...not exactly as planned 😂(Love you mom!) Back in high school during my major Bath and Body Works phase, my mom would always complain about how my candles and lotion would give her a headache and smell terrible to her. I totally didn't get it because I thought I was basking in pumpkin spice country apple vanilla swirl cucumber melon goodness. This was way before my journey to natural living and since then, I've parted ways with all things chemical, toxic, and scented.

Now that I try to live my life as non-toxic as possible, in the rare occasion that I do come in contact with synthetic fragrance such as a candle or air freshener in someone else's home, or someone's perfume or cologne, it gives me a headache almost immediately. Synthetic fragrance is one of the top cancer-causing toxins in our homes and should be avoided by all cost. I don't purchase anything scented unless that fragrance comes from 100% pure essential oils.

You see, "fragrance" or "parfume" is a Trade Secret Ingredient, meaning companies are not obligated to disclose what makes up their fragrance. This is a fancy way of saying that fragrance is a concoction of WHATEVER chemicals fragrance companies want to put in there. This is a list of a few extremely toxic ingredients that we are exposed to when we use products with synthetic fragrance.  These dangerous fragrances can be found in many household things from laundry detergent to air fresheners, to soaps, and almost every non-natural bath and beauty product out there.

One of the most common and most dangerous chemicals found in fragrance is diethyl phthalate also known as DEP. According to the FDA's website, DEP "does not pose risks for human health", but the FDA also once said that cigarettes are safe, vaccines are effective, and approved countless pharmaceutical drugs that have since been recalled. So I'll let you decide whether the FDA is a trustworthy source of information. But that is only one chemical. As of 2015 there are 3,999 different compounds that can be used to make a fragrance (source). That's nasty. 

These dangerous chemicals are linked to many health issues such as migraines, lung and sinus irritation, skin issues, as well as more serious issues like endocrine disruption, autism, birth defects, allergic and toxic reactions, asthma, and cancer. (This is not an exhaustive list.) Not only are these fragrances dangerous to us, but our furry friends as well. Perfumes and air fresheners can bother your pets and they have no way to tell you. Unfortunately often times pet owners will never know something is wrong until more serious health issues develop in their pets. Wearing perfume or having a home that "smells good" is not worth these health risks for us or our critters.

How to avoid toxic fragrances:
Use all natural bath and beauty products
Make your own household cleaners, soaps, detergents, etc
Use essential oils instead of candles and air fresheners
Always read ingredients and avoid any product that contains "fragrance" or "parfume"

It is important to protect our health by avoiding synthetic fragrances. Treat your body and nose with kindness by introducing real fragrances of nature that God created for us to enjoy and use!

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