The Dangers of Fragrance

The Power of Scent

The power of scent is amazing for its ability to trigger memories, moods, and positive feelings. However, there is a darker side to the world of scented products. Even though your pile of fresh, clean laundry may smell really great… It can come with a price. Are you aware of the hidden dangers of fragrance?

Fragrances are really just chemicals… 

Most scented products on the market today are created from toxic chemicals with little oversight or regulation. This is an increasing concern as the use of fragrances in homes has really ramped up in recent years. Many people use them to freshen up the air, mask odors, and add a pleasant scent to their homes. However, what many people fail to realize is the danger that these chemical fragrances pose to their health and the environment.

Chemical fragrances are commonly found in air fresheners, scented candles, cleaning products, and even personal care products like shampoos, makeup, and lotions. These fragrances are made up of a combination of chemicals, including phthalates, benzene derivatives, and aldehydes (think formaldehyde), among others. When released into the air, these chemicals can cause a range of health problems, including headaches, dizziness, and even respiratory problems like asthma. 

Phthalates alone are linked to disruptions in the endocrine system and are known androgen-blocking chemicals. This means that when absorbed into the body phthalates can either mimic or block female hormones and suppress the hormones involved in male sexual development. Within minutes, these chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream. If you are working to lower your toxic load, avoiding these chemicals is important. 

Regulation problems: 

One of the most concerning aspects of chemical fragrances is that they are not properly regulated. In many cases, the manufacturers of these products do not disclose the ingredients that they use in their fragrances. How can they achieve this? Companies are actually not required to disclose exactly what is included in their fragrances due to loopholes and ‘protection of proprietary formulas’. 

This lack of transparency means that consumers may be unwittingly exposing themselves and their families to dangerous chemicals. If you are purchasing products, check your ingredient label for ‘fragrance’. If it is listed, you can be sure these chemicals are too. 

What you can do to lower exposure: 

There are steps that you can take to reduce your exposure to chemical fragrances in your home. Choose to use natural alternatives like essential oils, which are made from natural plant extracts and do not contain harmful chemicals. You can also opt for unscented cleaning products and personal care items. It really is best to avoid fragrance altogether. 

In addition to the health problems that chemical fragrances can cause, they also pose a threat to the environment. The chemicals found in these fragrances can be harmful to aquatic life when they are washed down drains and into rivers and oceans. 

By taking steps to reduce your exposure to these chemicals, you can protect yourself, your family, and the environment…all while still enjoying a pleasant and fresh-smelling home.

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