Manufacturers of perfume are allowed to put any chemical in their fragrances without any safety assessment. These ingredients need not be revealed to customers for trade secret purposes and can make it to the sales counter without any pre-approval from the relevant government bodies. This rule has predated consumer awareness of the chemical component of perfume, which may not all be safe to apply to the body. Low dose chemical exposure can result in serious and long term effects on health.
The most common chemicals found in perfumes include acetaldehyde, ethanol, a-pinene acetone, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, acetone, linalool, ethyl acetate, methylene chloride, a-terpinene, styrene oxide, limonene, camphor and many others.
Some of the chemicals used in perfumes can cause damage to the immune system. This can lead to a potential lifelong allergic reactions like wheezing and headache because of exposure to triggering perfume ingredients. Fragrances are among the top 5 allergens which is one major cause of the asthma attacks, especially for children.
Impact on Reproductive Health
One of the most common solvents used in making perfume fragrances is diethyl phthalate. This is one compound which humans must have less exposure to as it can cause hormonal disruption. Too much exposure can have a negative impact on fertility and to the abnormal development of the reproductive organs in infant males. Adults may also ?experience damage to sperm count. Pregnant women are advised to avoid exposure to these hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Some of these chemicals are also known to be neurotoxins which have poisonous effect on the nervous system and the brain. The chemical benzaledehyde is a depressant and may cause skin, mouth, eye, and lung and throat irritation. Benzyl alcohol can cause irritation in the upper respiratory tract that can lead to dizziness, nausea, headache and even respiratory failure. Ethyl acetate has been linked to kidney and liver damage and anaemia. This is just the tip of the iceberg as acetaldehyde chemicals are thought to be ?carcinogenic.
Other ingredients are linked to negative physical and emotional symptoms which include mood swings, anxiety mood and depression. If you are feeling down at times, it may be because of the perfume you are wearing.
What You Should Do?
With the myriad of negative effects of the different ingredient in perfumes, it would be a good idea to begin reading labels on personal care products. If a manufacturer is not listing the ingredient, they may be hiding something. You should also beware of those using fragrance oil and labeling it as essential oil. Fragrance oils are naturally derived from flowers and leaves, while essential oils are synthetic. It is highly advisable for consumers to select those products with no added fragrance.
When you buy perfume it is not backed with any warranty – only an assumption that they are safe. It is your personal responsibility to check if they are safe to apply on the body by considering the chemicals included in the making of the perfume that you prefer.
Author Bio: Ungerer Limited is a global market leader producing and supplying fragrances, flavours, essential fragrance oils and aroma chemicals. With facilities positioned in the UK, USA, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Indonesia, China and Australia, and with representation in over sixty countries, they have a truly global presence. Their expertise spans several divisions: fragrances, flavours, essential oils and aroma chemicals.