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synthetic fragrances are poison

 Synthetic Fragrance Alerts 

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preservative alert Toxins

preservative alert Asthma

preservative alert Pollution

save the air don't use synthetic fragrances

What you Don't Know...CAN Hurt You!

:: Phthalates in Synthetic Fragrances - RED ALERT

"For her it's sexy. For baby, it could really be poison.

Toxic chemicals linked to birth defects are being found at alarming levels in women of childbearing age.

And according to new laboratory tests,
these same chemicals are being added to popular cosmetics and beauty aids, from Poison perfume to Arrid Extra Extra Dry deodorant.

Manufacturers use these chemicals, known as phthalates (tha-lates), to add flexibility and help dissolve other ingredients. They're also used in industrial adhesives, and in medical and consumer goods made with polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC).

But phthalates have been shown to damage the lungs, liver and kidneys, and to harm the developing testes of offspring.

These results come from animal tests which, according to government scientists, are relevant to predicting health impacts in humans.

Despite this, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate phthalates in cosmetics. In most cases, phthalates aren't even listed on the label.

The FDA must act now. All cosmetics - as well as food-related and medical products containing phthalates - must be labeled. And manufacturers should publicly pledge to voluntarily remove phthalates as quickly as possible.

Phthalate-free alternatives are available in every product category. And some companies have already announced phase-out policies.

In the meantime, we believe that every consumer - indeed, anyone who cares about the health of future generations - should demand action from companies and the FDA. Learn more at

After all, Eternity is a long time."


This Ad Sponsored by Coming Clean, the Environmental Working Group and Health Care Without Harm

Health Care Without Harm
1755 S Street NW, Suite 6B, Washington, DC 20009

:: Toxins in Synthetic Fragrances - RED ALERT

In 1986, the National Academy of Sciences targeted synthetic fragrances as one of the six categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing. The report states that 95 percent of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and many other known toxics and sensitizers, which are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. 

SOURCE: Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace (Report by the Committee on Science and Technology. US House of Representatives, Sept. 16, 1986) [Report 99-827]

"Common Fragrance Ingredient Damages Connections Between Brain Cells

Musk Ambrette is the name given to a commonly used fragrance ingredient, that according to researchers, causes serious brain damage in laboratory animals exposed to the chemical.

Musk Ambrette, whose chemical name is 2,6-dinitro-3-methoxy-4-tert-butyltoluene, is a common fixative ingredient that is currently added to fragrances in order to slow their evaporation, thereby making it more attractive to the consumer. It is found within most fragrances at a level of 1 to 3.5%. The chemical is also used to a lesser extent as an artificial flavor in compositions such as cherry, nut, spice vanilla, and mint.

The neurotoxic properties of Musk Ambrette are well established and as stated by the researchers,

"Musk ambrette, a nitro-musk compound widely used as a fixative in fragrance formulations and found to a lesser degree in flavor compositions, produces hindlimb weakness when administered in the diet or applied to skin of rats for periods up to 12 weeks. Underlying neuropathologic changes consist of primary demyelination and distal axonal degeneration in selected regions of the central and peripheral nervous system."

Primary demyelination means that the insulative myelin sheath surrounding the nerve cell connections are slowly being worn away. Degeneration of the axons means the actual connection from brain cell to brain cell is being destroyed by the chemical.
Drs. P. S. Spencer, M. C. Bischoff-Fenton, O.M. Moreno,
D. L. Opdyke, R. A. Ford
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology Vol.75:571-575 (1984)"

SOURCE: Fragrance and Chemical
Sensitivity Support Group

:: Asthma

synthetic fragrances contribute to asthma"The Institute of Medicine placed fragrance in the same category as second hand smoke in triggering asthma in adults and school age children."

SOURCE: Fragranced Product Information Network

"Fragrance is increasingly cited as a trigger in health conditions such as asthma, allergies and migraine headaches. In addition, some fragrance materials have been found to accumulate in adipose tissue and are present in breast milk. Other materials are suspected of being hormone disrupters. The implications are not fully known, as there has been little evaluation of systemic effects. There are environmental concerns as well, as fragrances are volatile compounds, which add to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Synthetic musk compounds are persistent in the environment and contaminate waterways and aquatic wildlife."

"With this increased usage and exposure there are increased anecdotal and clinical accounts of fragranced products causing, triggering, and exacerbating health conditions.
Further concerns relate to the bioaccumulation of fragrance chemicals in human tissue and the long-term impact.  

SOURCE: Excerpt from "Fragrance: Emerging Health and Environmental Concerns", an article accepted for publication in Flavours and Fragrance,Copyright 2002 published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

:: Pollution

phalate alert Synthetic Fragrances Harmful to Marine Life,
  Study Says - National Geographic News Reports

John Roach
National Geographic News
July 11, 2005

Synthetic fragrances commonly added to perfumes, soaps, shampoos, and dozens of other personal health care products are proving harmful to the marine environment and potentially to humans as well, according to marine scientists.

"Most soap, shampoos, and other bathing products contain fragrance. In addition, fragrance is added to most household cleaners and laundry products. A large portion of these materials ends up in wastewater. Most wastewater treatment methods do not remove fragrance compounds. These materials end up in streams and rivers from discharge of water from sewage treatment. 66

In 1999, the EPA sponsored a review of the literature pertaining to the impact of pharmaceuticals and personal care products on the environment. The review concluded that "Fragrances (musks) are ubiquitous, persistent, bioaccumulative pollutants that are sometimes highly toxic; amino musk transformation products are toxicologically significant."


66. Rimkus GG. Polycyclic musk fragrances in the aquatic environment. Toxicol Lett. 1999 Dec 20; 11 1(1-2):37-56. Review.
67. Daughton CG, Ternes T A. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment: agents of subtle change? Environ Health Perspect. 1999 Dec; 107 Suppl 6:907-38. Review.

In addition there are environmental concerns as fragranced products add to both air and water pollution."

SOURCE: Excerpt from "Fragrance: Emerging Health and Environmental Concerns", an article accepted for publication in Flavours and Fragrance,Copyright 2002 published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) as Environmental Pollutants; Pollution from Personal Actions, Activities, and Behaviors
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Synthetic Fragrances in the Aquatic Environment: Overview of Chemistry, Monitoring and Significance

"Concerns about the environmental impact of drug products and synthetic fragrances first surfaced about 10 years ago in Japan and Europe. "They were picking up pharmaceutical and personal care products in the wastewater flowing into rivers," Epel said. "In Japan they found them in mussels and fish and discovered they are somewhat persistent - they don't break down." "

"Worldwide production of synthetic musks increased from about 7,000 to 8,000 tons a year between 1987 and 1996, the authors wrote. Use of musk xylene, the most common industrial fragrance, was prohibited in Japan several years ago after traces of the compound were found in human body fat, breast milk and blood. Germany has placed a voluntary ban on musk xylene, although it's still widely used in the United States, except in lipsticks and other products that are applied orally. One problem for consumers is that, when a product has the word "fragrance" on the label, the actual chemical compound is rarely listed. 

"The musks are an example, but this group of pharmaceuticals and personal care products consists of thousands of different chemicals," Luckenbach said. 

"One of the assumptions about these chemicals is that they are regarded as environmentally low risk compared to pesticides and oil products," Epel noted. "This is the first study to show that some personal care products in water do have an effect, even in low concentrations. Our results indicate that the effects on the first line of defense might be irreversible or continue long after the event. 

It's a warning sign. It's a smoking gun. Are there other chemicals out there that have similar long-term effects? Could these be harming these defense systems in aquatic organisms? And could they be having similar effects in humans?" 



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