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Perfumes - Scents from heaven?

We all love to use perfume to make ourselves smell nice, but what you may not know is that many commercial perfumes contain dangerous ingredients that can have a negative effect on your health. Many of the fragrances used in perfumes contain chemicals known as phthalates which have been linked to a number of health issues including reproductive and endocrine system disruption, asthma and allergies, and even cancer.

The majority of commercial perfumes are made with synthetic fragrances, which can be very irritating to the skin and can cause a number of skin conditions. Another dangerous ingredient in many commercial perfumes is synthetic musks, which are used to prolong the scent of the perfume. These synthetic musks are not biodegradable and can accumulate in our bodies, causing toxins to build up over time. This can lead to a range of health issues, including hormonal imbalances and cancer.

Here are the top 10 chemicals that you can find in commercial perfumes:


Getting into some of the specifics, here is a list of the top 10, known chemical ingredients used in popular fragrances and the research about their toxic effects:

  1. Styrene: National Toxicology Program and the National Academy of Science, have declared styrene to be an anticipated human carcinogen” in 2011. 2, 3

  2. Phthalates: Studies have found that phthalates are endocrine disruptors that can decrease IQ by 6 points in children whose mothers were exposed to them during pregnancy. The use of phthalates have also been linked to sperm damage in studies. Also, phthalates are also considered “obesogens” which means they can suppress the metabolism and contribute to obesity. 4

  3. Musk ketone: A skin irritant and hormone disruptor. 5

  4. Benzaldehyde: This substance is a known narcotic, lung and eye irritant. It causes nausea, abdominal pain, and kidney damage.

  5. Benzyl acetate: Known carcinogen, which causes eye and lung irritation as well as coughing.

  6. Camphor: Can cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, muscle twitching, convulsions.

  7. Ethyl acetate: Can cause eye and respiratory irritation.

  8. Limonene: Known carcinogenic.

  9. Linalool: Can cause respiratory disturbances in animal studies, depression, and central nervous system disorders.

  10. Methylene chloride: This substance has actually been banned by the FDA due to severe toxic effects; however, the ban is not enforced as it still may be found in labels listing “fragrance”.

As you can see, it’s important to look for natural fragrances in perfumes and to avoid synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and musks if you’re heading on a low tox journey for better health. Natural fragrances are derived from essential oils and do not contain the same dangerous chemicals that are found in synthetic fragrances. Additionally, organic perfumes are becoming more popular and are a great alternative to traditional perfumes. When it comes to perfumes, it’s important to be aware of the ingredients and to choose a product that is free from dangerous chemicals. By doing so, you can keep yourself and your family safe from the potential health hazards associated with synthetic fragrances.

Tune in tomorrow for a run down on essential oils and how to use this low tox way of making you and your house smell amazing.

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