Fragrances are added to virtually everything from cleaning products to perfume to toothpaste and even orange juice. But fragrance isn’t just one thing, but rather a long list of ingredients that manufacturers aren’t required to disclose to the public. Fragrances are used to enhance a consumer’s sensory experience of a product.
What products are fragrances in?
Fragrance may be added to almost any product you can think of including incense, candles, perfumes, toys, and personal care products. The real question is, what’s in the fragrance? Some of the toxic chemicals that are commonly included in the toxic brew include phthalates, formaldehyde, p-dichlorobenzene, and petroleum distillates.
How to tell if a product has fragrances
Products typically will list one word, “fragrance” on a product label. The problem is that it’s nearly impossible to know the ingredients that actually make up a fragrance, because the one word “fragrance” can actually hide more than 100 different chemicals. Unfortunately the fragrance industry is primarily self-regulated, where safety testing does not have to precede product sales and fragrance cocktails don’t even have to be reviewed by regulatory agencies. Fragrances are considered trade secrets, meaning that manufacturers aren’t required to disclose the potentially hundreds of ingredients hiding behind the one word “fragrance”.
Fragrances commonly contain phthalates, which are used to help the scents last longer. Studies have shown that more than 75% of products with fragrances contain these hormone disruptors. The CDC reported that phthalates can be found in the blood of most Americans, and the greatest quantities are in women. They can act like hormones in the human body, which can cause a wide range of health risks. Health risks for phthalates are startling and include cancer, human reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, birth defects & respiratory problems