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Scents Are Not What They Seem II

Scents Are Not What They Seem II

This article was written in year of 1997 by Karen Robinson. It is a very good unbiased article on scents for us nowadays and in the future.  This article is long, for everyone’s easier reference, we put it into a serial form.  Please feedback us with your thoughts and ideas should you have any.  

Fragrance Chemicals as Toxic Substances

In 1989 the US National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (HIOSH) identified 884 of 2,983 fragrance chemicals as toxic substances.  Some of these were capable of causing birth defects, central nervous system disorders, cancer, eye and skin symptoms, and actually causing broad chemical sensitization (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). 
  

Examples of toxic ingredients are:

Cyclohexanol, when inhaled it has a narcotic effect intermediate between the effects of benzene and chloroform. 
 

Limonene, one of the most common ingredients, is a known carcinogen and a sensitizer – capable of inducing Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. 
 

Toluene.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found 100% of perfumes it studied contained toluene.  “Toluene can effect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin, may cause mutations, may damage the developing fetus.  Handle with extreme caution.  Exposure can irritate the skin nose, throat, and eyes.  Higher levels can cause you to feel dizzy, lightheaded, and to pass out.  Death can occur.  Repeated exposures can damage bone marrow, causing low blood cell count.  It can also damage the liver and kidneys, can cause slowed reflexes, trouble concentrating, and headaches”. 


Other examples of the many neurotoxic or sensitizing chemicals commonly found in fragrances are: linalool, hexachlorophene, 1-Butanol, 2-Butanol, Iso-Butanol, and 2,4-dinitro-3-methyl-6-ter-butylanisole.

A few chemicals, such as Musk AETT have been voluntarily removed from the cosmetics industry.  Research had found many adverse effects including permanent brain damage in test animals.  Most fragrance chemicals have undergone minimal or no testing.

Only a handful of chemicals are specifically banned from cosmetics, and regulatory bodies rely on manufacturers willingness to comply.  However, fragrance ingredients need not be included in ingredient list submissions even at government regulatory levels.

Methylene Chloride, a known carcinogen and cause of autoimmune disease, had been banned for use in all cosmetics in 1989.  It was one of the 20 most common chemicals found in fragrance products in a 1991 U.S. EPA study.

Natural vs Man-made

Not just the man-made aroma chemicals are capable of causing difficulties.  A number of the natural ingredients such as patchouli oil, civet, orris root, galbanum, asafetida, and bergamot oil can also cause trouble, particularly for sensitive individuals.  Bergamot oil is classified as a hazardous substance and strong sensitizer much like formaldehyde.  That is, like formaldehyde, it is capable of causing Multiple Chemical Hypersensitivity in otherwise well people.

To Be Continued....