Fragrances used in products
There is a growing number of people that are claiming exposure to certain fragrances are adversely affects their health.
There are more than 5,000 different fragrances in products that are used on a daily basis such as:
- Health and beauty aids
- Household cleaners
- Laundry aids
- Paper products
- Industrial greases
- Oils and solvents
Since fragrance formulas are considered to be "trade secrets" by the manufacturers, they only have to print "fragrance" on the label and do not need to identify the chemical makeup.
How fragrances can affect your health?
Fragrances can enter the body through the:
- Nose by inhalation
- Mouth by ingestion
- Skin by absorption
Fragrance chemicals can affect the lungs, nose, skin, eyes and brain.
Inhaling fragrances can also cause circulatory changes and electrical activity in the brain. These changes can trigger migraine headaches, the inability to concentrate, dizziness and fatigue.
The number one cause of skin reactions (rashes, hives, dermatitis or eczema) to cosmetics and laundry products is fragrance (fragrance chemicals).
Symptoms of fragrances Allergies
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Chest tightness
Some fragrance materials are absorbed by the skin and then broken down into materials that are stronger
than the original chemicals.
What does the term "fragrance free" mean?
Products with labels that contain the words fragrance-free or unscented do not guarantee that they do not contain fragrance chemicals. It simply implies that they have no perceptible odor. A product labeled "unscented" may contain a masking fragrance. If fragrance is added to a product to mask or cover up the odor of other ingredients, it is not required to be put on the label.
A product may be marked "without perfume", indicates no fragrance has been added. It does not guarantee that it is fragrance-free, so it is best to read the label to look for plant extracts that are potential perfume sensitizes and cross-reactors.