What Are the Dangers of Synthetic Fragrance?

What Are the Dangers of Synthetic Fragrance?

My family has a curse: asthma and respiratory problems. My baby sister died at age 28 during an asthma episode. Our mother spent at least a week in the hospital every fall when I was very young. Aunts, cousins, and even extended family members struggle to breathe at least part of every year.


Consequently, we have chosen to avoid products with “fragrance” as much as possible. Oh. My. Goodness!!! That is SO hard! It's everywhere and in everything. Walking down the laundry products aisle at the grocery store can send us into a wheezing, coughing fit! If we stay there long, we experience burning eyes and lungs, and scratchy, itching throats.


Take minute right now and go look at your labels. I’ll wait. How many list “parfume” “fragrance”  “perfume” “aroma” or some other innocuous sounding word? Manufacturers are permitted to add fragrance chemicals that we KNOW cause cancer reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies and sensitivities, and other serious health problems. And they don’t have to disclose the use in order to “protect trade secrets.” But who is protecting people like me and my family? No one.


So we’ve learned to read labels before we buy. At first we were fooled by labels that said "unscented." But when those products caused damage too, we went to the googles and learned what those terms really mean.


Unscented means that synthetic fragrance has been added to mask an unwanted smell! If we wanted products free of synthetic fragrance materials or masking scents, we had to choose labels that say “Fragrance Free.” But, because we are now on to slick marketing tactics, we no longer trust mainstream American manufacturers. Many of their “clean” products are anything BUT clean.


You and I have no control over what others choose to do. Funerals and social gatherings where hugging  happens always comes with a huge risk. When cologne or perfume wearers hug us, their synthetics transfer to our clothes and hang around with detrimental results. If their clothes have been laundered and dried using the typical synthetic-laden products, that just adds to the synthetic fragrance overload. 


Maybe you or someone in your family has unexplained skin issues, or sleep issues, or any number of other health issues. I challenge you to ditch the products with synthetic fragrance in them and note what happens.


At least, the next time you reach for that bottle of smell, please consider the more than 50% of your neighbors with respiratory issues. And know that there are safe, great smelling alternatives.


Thank you.