Fragrance – the word definitely has a harmonious and natural ring to it. I guess that is why major, corporate beauty companies have abused it. Fragrance was once something pure, reserved only for the pristine aromas of nature. Now-a-days, most “fragrances” are manufactured synthetically in labs and are used to mask hundreds of unknown harmful chemical ingredients. It may not smell like it, but the ingredients for these scents can be very nasty. One example is Benzene-ethanol, “A sweet-smelling, floral, rose synthetic fragrance which is irritating to the eyes, skin, and upper respiratory tract. It affects bone marrow, causes CNS disruption, and is classed as carcinogenic. Overexposure can damage the immune system, cause excess bleeding and lead to aplastic anaemia, excessive bleeding”. No Thanks. Synthetic fragrances also wreak havoc in the environment, where they easily bio-accumulate and act as hormone disrupters and carcinogens, especially in aquatic ecosystems.
There are companies that use natural, organic fragrances. But, these companies are few and far between as these fragrances are more expensive, and difficult to discern when compared to their synthetic counterparts. Also, due to recent red flags, many people who care enough to read labels do not even like to see the word “fragrance”. So, we at Use Me use essential oils and botanical extracts. In reality, you could definitely classify these as fragrances, but since that word gets such a bad rap, we try not to use it. Our oils cost more to procure, but that is an expense we will accept any day of the week if it means making a safer product for us and the environment. So, since I know you are already buying all of our products for your hair, check the labels on all your other beauty products and make sure you are comfortable with what you are putting on your skin and into your local ecosystem.
See http://www.tigerflag.com/twenty-chemicals.html, http://www.ehow.com/about_4674296_what-chemicals-perfume.html, or search google for what chemicals to watch out for.
- 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxics and sensitizers – capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace, Report by the Committee on Science & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, Sept. 16, 1986. (Report 99-827)
- Central Nervous System disorders (brain and spine) include Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Chloroform was found in tests of fabric softeners: EPA’s 1991 study.
- A room containing an air freshener had high levels of p-dichlorobenzene (a carcinogen) and ethanol: EPA’s 1991 study.
- An FDA analysis (1968-1972) of 138 compounds used in cosmetics that most frequently involved adverse reactions, identified five chemicals (alpha-terpineol, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, limonene and linalool) that are among the 20 most commonly used in the 31 fragrance products tested by the EPA in 1991!
- Thirty-three million Americans suffer from sinusitis (inflammation or infection of sinus passages).
- Ten million Americans have asthma. Asthma and asthma deaths have increased over 30% in the past 10 years.
- Headaches cost $50 billion in lost productivity and medical expenses and 157 million lost work days in 1991. “Focus on Fragrance and Health,” by Louise Kosta, The Human Ecologist, Fall 1992.