“Perfume” can be deceitfully toxic!
When I first heard about this, I was horrified! When I dug up more information, it was clear that this needs to shared. What we inhale and use on our skin goes into our bodies. Let’s be sure we aren’t poisoning ourselves!
Not long ago (2010), the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned independent laboratory tests. They got the low-down several commonly used fragrances and reported:
The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products. Also in the ranks of undisclosed ingredients are chemicals with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues.
Many of these “secret” chemicals in perfumes are very likely to cause health issues like irritability, mental vagueness, muscle pain, asthma, bloating, joint aches, sinus pain, fatigue, sore throat, eye irritation, gastrointestinal problems, laryngitis, headaches, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, spikes in blood pressure, coughing, and burning or itching skin irritations. Other chemicals may pose much more serious threats…
Acetaldehyde – A probable human carcinogen. Animal studies showed that it crosses the placenta to the developing fetus
Acetonitrile – The chemical industry’s own Toxic Data Safety Sheets list headaches, tremors, convulsions, and even death as a possible effect of exposure.
Styrene oxide – Has been shown to cause depression in animal studies.
Toluene (or methyl benzene) – A known neurotoxin that can cause loss of muscle control, brain damage, headaches, memory loss, antd problems with speech, hearing, and vision.
Musk tetralin (AETT) – Causes brain cell and spinal cord degeneration.
Diethyl phthalate (DEP) – This has been linked to abnormal development of reproductive organs in baby boys and abnormalities in the sperm of adult men. Prenatal exposure to DEP has also been associated with increased risk of ADD.
Galaxolide and Tonalide (synthetic musks) – Has been associated with toxicity to the endocrine system, which can negatively affect the natural balance of our hormones. More troubling, both have been found in the cord blood of newborns as well as breast milk, meaning they easily pass from mother to child.
Approximately 25% of the 5,000+ ingredients used in the fragrance industry have been evaluated by the industry’s International Research Institute for Fragrance Materials. Testing is very minimal and restricted to local effects on human skin or short-term toxicity tests in rodents.
There are over 500 chemicals used under the umbrella term “fragrance” in products such as air fresheners, laundry detergents, candles and perfumes…. But what are they!? There’s a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which explicitly exempts companies from labeling what’s used as a “fragrance.” Manufacturers are not required to reveal the ingredients in the “fragrance” since they are protected as trade secrets.
How can you protect your health?
Get rid of that perfume ASAP and go for a natural scent made from essential oils. If the ingredient label reads “fragrance,” leave it at the store. Watch out for the tricky term, “fragrance oils.” If an item is scented with essential oils, it will be clearly labeled as such.
Go the Natural Route
I am a firm believer that essential oils are the way to go! Herbs and Plants are incredible healers. The properties of essential oils provide a therapeutic benefit, which can relax, calm, de-stress and promote a more balanced mental, emotional and physical state. There are so many ways to use them – from perfumes, cleaning products and air fresheners to internal use and beyond! Find out more.
DIY Non-toxic Perfume:
For this, you will need just 4 things:
- 10ml Glass roll-on bottle
- Fractionated coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Your choice of essential oil
You can use single oils (my favorite scents are Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood and Wild Orange) or blends. Try these blends: 4 parts Grapefruit to 1 part Peppermint (very relaxing and dreamy!) or 9 parts lime to 1 part clove (eases feelings of stress.)
1) Fill each 10ml roll-on perfume bottle with the following:
- 1.5 tsp fractionated coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp jojoba oil
- 15-25 drops of high quality essential oil of your choice (more or less, depending on your preference)
2) Snap on the roller
3) Shake to combine
You can also use a spray bottle instead of a roll-on bottle.