Fragrance Chemicals: Weapons of Environmental and Human Destruction

We are surrounded by and saturated with fragrance chemicals now.

but-1

Fragrance Chemicals:
Weapons of Destruction

(if you have been impacted, you know this is not hyperbole)

Most fragrances are now are made from oil and gas based chemicals.

They are in our personal care, laundry, and cleaning products. They are in garbage bags, candles, and shoes. They are in toys, fire-place logs, and diapers. They are in toilet paper, stationary, and stickers. They are in clothing, pillows, and jewellery. They are in foods, plastics, and medicines. They are in kitty litter, trash bags,  and vacuum cleaner bags. They are even in pesticides, where they are regulated by the EPA, but they are not regulated by anyone when they are added to all the other products we use and are exposed to!

There’s no escaping fragrance even when housebound, because so many  deliveries of even the basics like food, arrive fragrance contaminated!

We were not designed for 24/7 exposures to toxic chemicals

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How much more evidence is needed before something is done about the human and environmental health problems caused by fragranced productss?

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Here’s an info dump with some relevant links and videos:

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Ingredients

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Fragrance Ingredients – Women’s Voices for the Earth

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http://www.womensvoices.org/fragrance-ingredients/

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http://www.womensvoices.org/2015/12/10/toxic-chemicals-found-in-fragrance/

 

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Galaxolide: A Threat to the Environment and Human Health
http://www.womensvoices.org/safe-cleaning-products/toxic-fragrance-chemical-galaxolide/

 

Benzene is used in air “fresheners” and other fragrance mixes
http://www.preventionstartshere.org/dirtysecrets/

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Air Quality

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Chemical Emissions from Residential Dryer Vents During Use of Fragranced Laundry Products
http://www.drsteinemann.com/Articles/Steinemann%20et%20al.%202011.pdf

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Some air pollutants seep through skin
https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/some-air-pollutants-seep-through-skin

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Volatile emissions from common consumer products
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11869-015-0327-6

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Health Effects and Consequences

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Fragranced consumer products: exposures and effects from emissions
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11869-016-0442-z

Overall, 34.7 % of the population reported one or more types of adverse health effects from exposure to one or more types of fragranced products. The most common types of adverse effects were as follows:

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18.6 % respiratory problems; 16.2 % mucosal symptoms; 15.7 % migraine headaches; 10.6 % skin problems; 8.0 % asthma attacks; 7.2 % neurological problems; 5.8 % cognitive problems; 5.5 % gastrointestinal problems; 4.4 % cardiovascular problems; 4.0 % immune system problems; 3.8 % musculoskeletal problems; and 1.7 % other.

“72.6 % were not aware that even so-called natural, green, and organic fragranced products typically emit hazardous air pollutants.”
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11869-016-0442-z

 

…”Finally, for public officials, the problem of “secondhand scents,” or indirect exposure to fragranced products, has parallels to secondhand tobacco smoke. Prevention from fragrance product exposure will enable individuals to work in their workplaces, attend school, and function in society without suffering involuntary harm.” …
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335516301449

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Scientists warn of hormone impacts from benzene, xylene, other common solvents
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2015/apr/endocrine-disruption-hormones-benzene-solvents

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Health Problems from Common Chemicals Cost $340 Billion Per Year: Study
Health Problems from Common Chemicals Cost $340 Billion Per Year: Study

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Reproductive – Developmental – Childhood

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Exposure to phthalates may raise risk of pregnancy loss, gestational diabetes
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/phthalates-exposure-pregnancy-loss-gestational-diabetes/

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What are we doing to our children’s brains? | Ensia
http://ensia.com/features/what-are-we-doing-to-our-childrens-brains/

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Prenatal Exposure to Common Chemicals Linked to Lower IQ in Kids
http://www.livescience.com/49087-phthalates-exposure-lower-iq-kids.html

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Clean indoor air as important as medication to fight asthma in children
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/011116/clean-indoor-air-as-important-as-medication-to-fight-asthma-in-children.html

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Phthalate Exposure and Children’s Health
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3747651/

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Chemical Exposure Linked to Attention Deficit Disorder in Children
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/children-chemicals-fragrences-cosmetics-pthalate-attention-deficit-womb/

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Pollutants don’t only harm children’s developing lungs – they can cross the blood-brain barrier and permanently damage developing brains
http://news.trust.org/item/20161031000424-1afcb/

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Genital defect in baby boys linked to moms’ chemical exposure
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2015/jun/endocrine-disruptors-boys-birth-defects

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A Wake-Up Story is a must-see video

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PDF of the Fragrance Fact Sheet by the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health & Environment
http://www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca/sites/healthyenvironmentforkids.ca/files/CPCHE_FactsFragrancesEN.pdf

 

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Neurological

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Associations of Cognitive Function Scores with Carbon Dioxide, Ventilation, and Volatile Organic Compound Exposures in Office Workers: A Controlled Exposure Study of Green and Conventional Office Environments
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-10037/

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What are neurological disorders?
http://www.who.int/features/qa/55/en/

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Respiratory

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Air Fresheners Impact Respiratory Health
http://www.hcplive.com/conference-coverage/acaai-2011/air-fresheners-impact-respiratory-health

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Every Breath We Take: the lifelong impact of air pollution
https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/every-breath-we-take-lifelong-impact-air-pollution

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Incense could be more harmful than cigarette smoke, researchers find
Warning: product contains calming vibes, pleasant fragrance, and carcinogens.
http://www.sciencealert.com/incense-could-be-more-harmful-than-cigarette-smoke-researchers-find

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Fragrances Can Cause or Trigger Work-related Asthma
http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4586a1ad0b7ecd671f7295e07&id=3d92295427&e=9eef1dd31a

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Chemical Sensitivities, MCS/ES, Fibromyalgia, ETC.

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Task Force on Environmental Health – Public Information – MOHLTC
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/environmentalhealth/

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Housing as a Medical Necessity | CERA
http://www.equalityrights.org/cera/?p=1004

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MCS brief from MEAO
http://www.meao.ca/mcs.html

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Amputated Lives: Coping with Chemical Sensitivity by Alison Johnson
http://alisonjohnsonmcs.com/amputated-lives-coping-with-chemical-sensitivity.htm

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New videos with Dr. John Molot from Action CIND.
Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Public Health

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“Delegitimizing those with ES-MCS, who may be warning us all of the need for toxics reduction, also tends to impede development of practical, precautionary, potentially preventive and cost-saving public health strategies.”
http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/assets/legacy/wch/pdfs/ESMCSStatusReportJune22011.pdf

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It’s Official: Fragrance is Bad for Health and Business
https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/its-official-fragrance-is-bad-for-health-and-business-183127958.html

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Fragranced products: Risks for people and profits?
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/uom-fp102316.php

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Health Care Access

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Recognition and treatment barriers in the Canadian Family Physician Journal
http://www.cfp.ca/content/60/6/511

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Canada’s top medical journal, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ),  “Artificial scents have no place in our hospitals“
http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2015/10/05/cmaj.151097

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Campaign for fragrance-free health care in the U.S.
http://www.massnurses.org/health-and-safety/articles/chemical-exposures/p/openItem/1347

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Health Care Must Do More To Address Environmental Sensitivities
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/elvira-truglia/environmental-sensitivities_b_9290702.html

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Fragrance Free Implementation Kit for health care facilities
http://greenhealthcare.ca/fragrance-free-implementation-kit/

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Quinte Healthcare Corporation Hospital Accessibility – Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
http://www.qhc.on.ca/multiple-chemical-sensitivities–p279.php

 

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Human Rights

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CDC Policy 
http://www.drsteinemann.com/Resources/CDC%20Indoor%20Environmental%20Quality%20Policy.pdf

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Job Accommodation Network Accommodation Ideas for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or Environmental Illness
http://askjan.org/media/chem.htm

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Ontario Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability
http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-ableism-and-discrimination-based-disability

 

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Canadian (Federal) Policy on Environmental Sensitivities | Canadian Human Rights Commission
http://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/eng/content/policy-environmental-sensitivities

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Housing as a Medical Necessity
http://www.equalityrights.org/cera/?p=1004

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Understanding & Accommodating People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in Independent Living by Pamela Reed Gibson
http://www.ilru.org/understanding-accommodating-people-with-multiple-chemical-sensitivity-independent-living

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Mast Cell and MCAS

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Mastocytosis Society Canada: Symptom Management & Mast Cell Degranulation Triggers
http://www.mastocytosis.ca/symptoms.html

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Fragrance allergy – Mast Attack
http://www.mastattack.org/2014/11/fragrance-allergy/

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The role of flavor and fragrance chemicals in TRPA1 (transient receptor potential cation channel, member A1) activity associated with allergies
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404258/

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Cancer

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Environment, behavior contribute to some 80 percent of cancers, study reveals
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151216144831.htm

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Cocktail of common chemicals may trigger cancer
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150623072237.htm#

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Environmental

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Water pollution from fragrance chemicals
http://www.nyrnaturalnews.com/chemicals-2/2016/09/water-pollution-from-fragrance-chemicals/

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Eau de Toluene, a scent no river should wear
Perhaps “sensitivity” to perfume isn’t abnormal, after all, but a gift of common sense.
http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/2015/04/14/opion-column-perfume-pollution/25795725/

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Galaxolide: A Threat to the Environment and Human Health
http://www.womensvoices.org/safe-cleaning-products/toxic-fragrance-chemical-galaxolide/

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Fragrances Alter Brain Functions

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Common Scents Marketing ~ Dr John Molot
http://johnmolot.com/common-scents-marketing/
… A drug is defined as any substance that is intended to affect the structure or function of the body.

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Are Fragrances Drugs By Design?
https://lindasepp.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/are-fragrances-drugs-by-design/

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Regulation and Profits

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“Perfume is a $6.1 billion industry in the U.S. and $29 billion worldwide. Add to that the billions more spent to create other fragrances used in soaps, lotions, deodorants, detergents and other household products.”
~ January 2015 by a former Republican congressman

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Watchdog calls for more scrutiny of chemicals in cosmetics and household products
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/environment-watchdog-spring-report-2016-1.3608675

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Lobbying Expenditures for International Fragrance Assn
https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000064833&year=2015
https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000064833&year=2014

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Unpacking the Fragrance Industry: Policy Failures, the Trade Secret Myth and Public Health
http://www.womensvoices.org/fragrance-ingredients/report-unpacking-the-fragrance-industry/

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Watch the award-winning documentary

“Stink!” – the movie the Chemical Industry doesn’t want you to see.
https://stinkmovie.com/

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Misdiagnosis and profits in the Canadian Family Physician Journal
http://www.cfp.ca/content/60/6/511

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2014-pharmaceutical-industry

pharmaceutical industry tidbits and why they don’t promote prevention

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So What Can We do?

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Here’s a three minute PSA from Frederick Community College about going fragrance-free:

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Be fragrance-free! It’s good for you, it’s good for me!

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Is That All?

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Sadly, that’s not enough.

Conventional fragrance-free products can still be made with toxic and hazardous chemicals!

VOCs in Fragrance Free Products 1

Volatile emissions from common consumer products
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11869-015-0327-6

VOCs in FF regular laundry product #26

VOCs in FF regular laundry product #26

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It’s not enough to just be fragrance-free!

We must be non-toxic too!

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Together we can stop this insanity!

weapons-compilation-1.

Let’s all call out for fragrance-free and VOC-free supply chains too.  (fragrance-free means no essential oils)

There are already GMO-free, gluten-free, nut-free, pesticide-free, smoke-free, and other -free basics available due to health requirements.

Our long term survival depends on access to fragrance-free life supports too.

♥ ♥ ♥

Also, support the NGOs who push for better disclosure and health protective regulations. Support the efforts to give us the right to a healthy environment.

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3 responses to “Fragrance Chemicals: Weapons of Environmental and Human Destruction

  1. Thank you so very much for this post. This must have taken an enormous amount of work to put together!! It’s a timely post for me because I have been trying to get accommodation at work for MCS without much luck. I work for the Canadian government and have filed grievances and Human Rights complaints that are still not resolved after over three years – all the while I am repeatedly injured and assaulted by use of scented products by my coworkers who know better. I’m very greatful for the work you do!!

    Cheers Jo-An

    -30-

    >

    • I wish I had something good to say about that Jo-An!

      I do wish you ultimate success, which would benefit all your co-workers too, as it would remove so many toxic exposures from their lives as well.

      PS…

      About the work involved… I never know if or when something will come together, when my brain will function enough to connect things in a useful way.

      I started this post a few months ago (the images inspired it) and then ended up too brain dead from exposures I had no control over (but other people could have) to do anything about it until recently.

      I try to save all the good links I run across, and if I can’t think up words to say anything about them, or find the right links (because my bookmarks and folders are a mess) I can sometimes come up with an image, or just copy and paste a few things! And then it’s more like assembling puzzle pieces, re-arranging them until they kind of fit.

      I have really had to learn to accept “good enough” under the circumstances I deal with here. I am just not capable of doing things the way I would like to do them.

      If I had the energy, I’d make bite size posts with all these categories separated… but I think that will happen with images on fb, not here.

      May the people of the world wake up to how we are all being poisoned for profit by the industries who subject us to toxic chemicals in everyday products and materials, so that we can stop this before it’s too late for everyone!

  2. I forgot to bring up diabetes and obesity and how they too are linked to some fragrance chemicals

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