Fragrance. The New ‘Second Hand Smoke’?

Growing up, I experienced my mother shunning all things fragranced.  There were no air fresheners, scented laundry products and most certainly no perfumed body products in our house.

Mom had asthma. She didn’t need anyone to tell her the correlation between fragrance and her difficulty breathing. Now, years later, I have read reports on the serious health concerns of fragrance and I know mom was onto something.

Synthetic fragrances are formulated by mixing cheap, unhealthy chemicals.  However, as fragrance is considered proprietary or a ‘trade secret’, manufacturers do not have to disclose what is in their formulation.  But it is well-documented now that these ‘secret’ chemicals are the cause of allergic effects such as asthma, headaches, wheezing, dermatitis AND some fragrance ingredients ie. phthalates are known hormone disruptors. Just take a look for yourself on-line to see reports such as Not So Sexy by Environmental Defence Canada for the whole scoop.

The issue is that people use these products everyday without hesitation. These nasty ingredients are in shampoos, creams and lotions, bath products, hand soaps, household cleaners, air fresheners, laundry products and even baby products! People trust the companies that make them to ensure they are safe.  However very few of the approximate 100,000  chemicals used in the Canadian marketplace have ever been tested to ensure safety.

What to do if you are not willing to take the risk of the ‘secret’ chemicals in your products. Number one: Become a label reader.  I am now one on behalf of my family and am happy for it. And I have found almost all conventional products are synthetically fragranced. Number two: Find products through trusted sources such as Environmental Defence Canada who make recommendations of safe cosmetics through their Just Beautiful campaign. Number three: Consider others in your choices.  You may not care what you put on your body or in the air but some may find exception to your affecting the air they breathe and the water they drink.

I recently heard someone say that the greatest chemical disaster of our time may not come from a major spill or catastrophe but from the chemicals we are putting on our bodies everyday.

Think about it.

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