Experts confirm that the styrene, reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, causes cancer and sperm damage. Other common additives used in many perfumes are the xylene, ethyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, hydroxycitronellal, and the lilial. The xylene, also used as airplane fuel, is a known toxic substance that affects the respiratory, cardiovascular, and other organs of the human body. The benzyl alcohol, also used in paints and lacquers, may cause allergies, and brain, organ, and nervous system toxicity. Don’t you know that 95% of the synthetic chemicals used in fragrances are derived from petroleum?
This dirty little secret is hidden behind their pleasant scents. Many are linked to hormone disruption and reproductive problems. A survey of asthmatics reports that perfumes or colognes triggered attacks in nearly 3 out of 4 individuals.
It can exacerbate asthma and potentially contribute to its development, especially in children. According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition, the perfume industry uses up to 3,000 ingredients where about 900 of them are known toxic substances.
Don’t you know that many of the chemicals in perfume are the same chemicals you find in a cigarette smoke? It may not be acute poisoning, but it is definitely chronic because it stays in the system and accumulates in the tissues. For example, the synthetic musk may attack living tissues.
Fragrances may produce a deleterious effect on the DNA. The potential role of fragrances, air fresheners, colognes, and perfumes in causing mutagenic and fetal brain cell death at extremely low concentrations qualify for an in-depth study and investigation.
Millions report adverse reactions to perfumes and fragrances, such as lung diseases, migraines, and other health problems. Approximately 12.6% of the population suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). This is a condition a person may experience reactions from exposure to low concentrations of common chemicals.
The MCS is also known as the Environmental Illness or Toxic Injury. In response to multiple chemical reactions, the symptoms may include difficulty in breathing, sleeping, concentrating, memory loss, migraines, nausea, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, aching joints and muscles, and irritated eyes, nose, ears, throat, or skin.
The Institute of Medicine has placed fragrance in the same category as second hand smoke in triggering asthma in adults and school age children. About up to 72% of asthmatics report their asthma was triggered by fragrance.
David Suzuki Foundation. Use in cosmetics.
Bagasra, O & Pace, D. G. (2013). Smell of autism: Synthetic fragrances and cause for allergies, asthma, cancer and autism. OA Autism. 1(2), pp. 15.
Ferlow, K. (2008). Fragrance: A growing health and environmental hazard. Positive Health.
Fragrance Free Zone (n.d.). Invisible Disabilities Association.
Mukti. Could your perfume be giving you breast cancer?