Sunday, October 7, 2012

Did You Know These Common Chemicals Are Found in Our Perfumes?

Little did I know… and you may not realize that the perfume we wear has many chemicals in it, some of which may affect our health. If you are someone who has chemical sensitivities and/or allergies, you may find that perfume will activate the symptoms. Here is a list of some of the common chemicals found in perfumes and the health concerns that are linked to them.
* Benzaldehyde is used in many cleaning products and cosmetics such as deodorant, lotion, shaving cream, and shampoo.  It is said to depress the central nervous system and cause irritation in the respiratory and digestive tracts.  It might even cause kidney damage.  Really?  And I am spraying this on me in a closed-up bathroom daily?  Eew!
* Acetone, the chemical found in nail polish remover, is also in perfumes. The US Environmental Agency (EPA) lists acetone as a hazardous waste. (Huh?)  Breathing acetone can have a profound effect on the nervous system, causing dizziness, sleepiness, slurred speech, and possibly coma.  That doesn't sound so good.
* Benzyl alcohol (made from Benazldehyde) is found in perfume, air freshener, deodorant, and fabric softener (to name a few).  It can affect the respiratory tract and the central nervous system, causing headache, nausea, and respiratory irritation and even failure.  Hmmmm....I don't think I want to be sniffing this!
* Methylene chloride is a perfume ingredient that was banned by the FDA in the late 80s, but some claim the law is impossible to enforce.  The problem with this chemical is that it is stored in body fat (many chemicals are fat soluble) where it is metabolized by the body into carbon monoxide.  This can lead to symptoms of oxygen deprivation, such as headache, fatigue, and tingling in the extremities.  Just who put all of this stuff together in the first place and why are we all so addicted to it?
* Limonene is found in a lot of cleaning products as well as perfumes.  Cleaning products?  Are you kidding me?  It is considered carcinogenic, and is a skin and eye irritant. Inhaling the vapor of limonene is considered dangerous.
* Ethanol is also found in perfumes, as well as a host of other products. Ethanol is in so many products that it's hard to believe it's on the EPA's hazardous waste list.  Whether ingested or inhaled, ethanol can cause blurred vision, drowsiness, and disorders of the central nervous system.  I don't EVEN want to think about this.
These are only a few of the toxic chemicals found in perfumes.  Please do your own research on these chemicals to determine if you want to continue using them.  If you are concerned about the possible health effects of perfume but still want to apply some sort of scent, consider making your own scented spritzer or oil, or buy a commercially-prepared, non-toxic scent.
Mix a few drops of the essential oil of your choice with an ounce of rubbing alcohol and 2 ounces of water. Put in a small spray bottle and use as a spray-on scent.  For a safer blend, mix a few drops of your favorite  essential oils in a neutral carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba, coconut or olive oil, that can be rubbed on the skin. 
As a matter of fact, I plan to mix up some "Pixie Parfume" (I made up that name) and give it a try!  If all goes well, I'll post about it!  How about you?  Have you made your own "smell sweet" stuff?
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Huge Green Hugs,Pat

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