Most of us are aware of potentially harmful substances in our environment such as pollution, exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke. We even know some cleaning products, paint and glues can be hazardous. Scented products are generally perceived as pleasant, a harmless means of self expression and certainly not a health concern. Therefore, we do not think twice about using them.
Perfume, as we know it, has changed from the formulations around 1970 to 1980. Today, they are approximately 95-100% synthetic (man made.) Using crude oil or turpentine oils as the base material, these synthetics are usually derived from chemical reactions. An abundance of these chemicals are listed on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste List. This list includes numerous carcinogenic chemicals, neurotoxins and respiratory irritants. There are hundreds of untested and unregulated petrochemicals, which can act as hormone disruptors.
For many people, breathing in fragrances from perfumes, colognes, household products and cleaners can just be a little annoying. But for a growing number of others, these smells, called “emissions of volatile organic compounds,” can be a form of torment that throws their bodies into reactive overdrive. One whiff of a chemical cocktail-coming from perfumes and detergents but also from fabric, paint, and cleaning supplies can result in a vast array of debilitating symptoms.