Many of us use scented candles, air fresheners, deodorant, body spray or some other type of product that contains synthetic fragrances. Most people are unaware that these products are carcinogenic, or cancer causing which are derived from crude oil.
Many of the compounds found in crude oil is not only causes cancer but can cause problems with the nervous system, allergic reactions, and birth defects. On top of that they are believed to disrupt our hormones as well, which control virtually every bodily process and function we do, affecting every aspect of our lives.
With that being said some natural fragrances not only smell good, but some have been used for centuries to promote good health and are generally healthy and beneficial. Knowing the difference between the two can really help you when it comes to your overall health, so get educated.
The definition of a synthetic fragrance is a very broad one which includes a wide variety of chemical compounds and what some manufactures call a “fragrance” can vary greatly.
Basically when you see fragrance on whatever product you are buying, it means that it can consist of a wide variety of things and is usually a cocktail of nasty carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and irritants.
These scents are found in many products that we use daily like out shampoos, detergents, air fresheners, deodorant, soap, cleaners etc. These chemical fragrances come in contact with us daily from multiple sources so it is important to recognize where they come from.
Unfortunately, the best thing to do here is to take the cynical route and just expect that whatever is in that fragrance is bad stuff. There are over 3,000 chemicals that can be considered to be a fragrance, many things fall in to this category which encourages companies to use fragrances as a chemical dumping ground.
Since cosmetics and fragrances aren’t considered food products, they aren’t regulated by the FDA and thus companies don’t have to disclose what ingredients are in their products. These synthetic fragrances are easier and more cheaply produced than their natural counterparts, so nothing looks like it will change from that standpoint anytime soon.
Studies have shown that not people get sick from these synthetic fragrances and that most people would prefer not to have them in the workplace as well.
We all know someone who is allergic or just can’t be around someone who goes to heavy on the cologne or body spray. Most of us chalk it up to the person being too sensitive or uppity but the science says that these fragrances do irritate the sinus passages of some people to the point where they have difficulty breathing.
The most common thing people experience from too much exposure to these chemicals is trouble breathing, or coughing and sneezing. These are the first signs that your body sends you telling you that you should probably remove yourself from the area.
Many people even experience prolonged headaches as a result of exposure to these fragrances especially those found in laundry products in the case of drier exhaust.
There are plenty of products on the market that are made without synthetic fragrances, the best place to look is a local health food or grocery store if they’re available. If not many stores carry products without scents as well.
Avoid products that have DEP, DEB, DEHP or any similar acronyms which are a family of phthalates that are linked to hormonal disruption and is viewed as toxic. The same thing goes for any product that contains an ingredient like limonene or any other word that is similar to lemons, as these are synthetic forms developed to smell like, but are not lemons.
There are products on the market that do smell good and are fine to use, those products contain essential oils derived from the plant themselves and not the laboratory. These products are usually more expensive but it is worth it considering what the alternatives can do to your health.
If you are ever uncertain about whether or not a product is ok to use because it is scented, try to find an unscented version to be safe.