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Monday, 08 October 2012 09:27

Use of scent or perfumes can make you sick! Featured

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Fragrance chemicals are associated with numerous health problems and hence going fragrance free is good.

perfumeOur luxurious lifestyle leads to obsession of using scented products on every corner of life. Almost all gadgets we are using daily are fragrant. Whether it is bathing soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and sun cream, shaving gel or washing powder everything is studded with aromas. Even our toilet roll, air fresheners, or candles come with pleasant fragrance.

Studies after study are currently focusing the ill-effect of fragrance products on human health. Scents one time used to mask odor problems now creating nuisance due to presence of toxic chemicals, according to health experts.

Health Care Harm, leading the global movement for environmentally responsible health care reports that fragrance chemicals are volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that ones vaporize into the air though a mask odor can create lots of health issues. Many of us are unaware of how they are exposing themselves to plenty of health issues just with use of their likely fragrance product.

Why to go fragrance free?

A statement from the University of Toronto Environmental Health and Safety in guidelines on the use of perfumes and scented products says that,

“We generally think that it is a personal choice to use fragrances; however, fragrance chemicals are by their very nature shared. The chemicals vapourize into the air and are easily inhaled by those around us. Today's scented products are made up of a complex mixture of chemicals which can contribute to indoor air quality problems and cause health problems”

Harmful effect of fragrance can range from simple headache, sore throat, runny nose, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue, mental confusion, inability to concentrate up to sexual problems.

How exactly fragrance chemicals harm the human body is still a mystery. These fragrance chemicals can act as a skin sensitizer, respiratory tract irritant or can even bring vascular changes. Hence the resultant reaction can turn out dangerous for human health.

Some commonly occurring fragrance associated health issues are listed out here.

Contact allergic dermatitis

Fragrance chemicals are known as number one cause for allergic reactions. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America state fragrances and perfumes can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis is skin’s hypersensitive reaction on coming in contact with an allergen.

 Perfumes and scented products when come in contact with skin directly can induce eczema and dermatitis. Immune response evokes due to an allergic reaction result in itching, redness, rash, swelling, scaly and cracked skin.

Fragrance allergy incidence has increased susceptibility in people with pre-existing eczema.


Some studies labeled perfume as a potent and high-risk cosmetic agent in triggering asthma symptoms. Fragrance chemical can irritate the lining of airways and cause breathing problems thus aggravating asthma.

A study session at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) reported significant association between exposure to volatile organic compounds and incidence of asthma attack in children.

Session further highlighted on air freshener with main ingredients as formaldenyde, benzens, styrene, terpenes and many more as a culprit to reduce lung function.

Statistics on fragrance sensitivity in American population reported 34% asthmatic have health problems with air fresheners and 38% asthmatic reported problems when exposed to other’s scented products.


Fragrance activates nerve cells in the nose and stimulates the nervous system leading to headache, according to report from Dailymail. Report further revealed that intense or penetrating smells can trigger migraine for the same reason.

Vaginal infection

Chemicals found in perfumes can cause irritating, itchy rashes in a vaginal area documented in The New York Times health guide.

Fragrance chemicals change the natural pH or acidity of the vagina and disturb normal protection. This favors the growth of odor producing bacteria and subsequent vaginal infection. Direct impact on mucosal lining of vagina and delicate skin lead to contact dermatitis reported in Dailymail.

How to go fragrance free

Simple steps to go fragrance free are

  • Minimize the use of unnecessary fragrance products in your home and workplace
  • Demand for environmental-friendly, fragrance-free alternatives
  • Avoid using fragrance giving chemical based scents
  • Use safer household cleaning agents
  • Choose personal-care products not listing “perfume “or “scented “or “fragrance."
  • Instead of air freshener open your window and let the fresh air to come inside.

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Read 24118 times Last modified on Monday, 08 October 2012 11:03

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