Another great post from our beloved Santa Barbara Eco-nut, Barbara Hirsch… Check out the list of ingredients in fragrances.

Ecofacts V.11 n.33 – Smelling stuff

The word “fragrance” has pleasant associations, as do many of the clean, fresh scents in our personal care and cleaning products. But when you see the word in a list of ingredients, it can mean anything but clean and fresh, since manufacturers are not required to list its components. Some of these are known carcinogens and mutagens, such as phthalates and other VOCs, volatile organic compounds. And as with flavorings, the fragrance industry is highly secretive about their formulations.

This irony is amplified in perfumes, scented candles and air fresheners, many of which mask less pleasant odors and at the same time pollute the air and us. Not only are most candles petroleum paraffin, but their scents are synthetic and often truly unhealthful. And those car scenting things? Some might enjoy “new car smell”, for example. If you’re sorry your car no longer has it, you can buy it to refresh your car, though it may be better to wait until after your child bearing years.

Many air fresheners contain a phthalate known as DEP and some also contained DBP, which are listed by the California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a developmental toxin and female and male reproductive toxin, respectively.”*  In a Centers for Disease Control study, DBP was found in the urine off every one of the 289 people tested. 

Here is a jaw dropping list of ingredients in fragrances.

 Smelling is a form of ingesting. When we smell something, we are actually taking in airborne molecules of that substance. Fortunately we can choose more truly clean, natural and fresh with the products we buy.

Barbara Hirsch, eco-nut

Santa Barbara, California


“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”    

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

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