Fragrance Is The New Secondhand Smoke | Eliminate Synthetic Fragrance To Improve Your Health

You may be familiar with one of these scenarios…

You walk into a store full of scented candles. They smell so fresh and lovely, but a few minutes later, your nose starts to itch and you are starting to get a headache. You notice that you’re having a harder time focusing on anything and you start to feel light-headed.  You end up buying a candle and leaving, feeling better as soon as you walk out the door. A few days later, the smell of your new candle is on everything: your coat, your car, the living room – even when it’s not lit. The headache just won’t go away and you start to feel worn down and tired.

OR

You spray a fine mist of air freshener all over that musty pile of backpacks in the mudroom. Your second-grader grabs his bag, now slightly wet and sweet-smelling, and starts to do homework, but is having trouble focusing. He’s getting a headache and starting to whine about wanting to play outside. Meanwhile, the fake scent of flowers dissipates as it numbs sensory receptors in your nose and starts driving your puppy a little crazy. Eventually, you can’t smell it anymore, but you’ve ingested it through your nose, lungs, and skin.

Fragrance Is the New Secondhand Smoke

If you’ve experienced anything like this and connected the dots, you know how insidious synthetic fragrance can be. It’s only human to seek out pleasant smells and to try to eliminate unattractive scents from our environments. However, the immediate and long-term effects of synthetic fragrance exposure is hazardous to our health. Simply adding a pleasant smelling chemical to our bodies and air will not only affect our own health, but the health of the people (and pets!) who share the air with us.

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The History of “Fragrance”

Trying to link the past with the present fragrance industry unfortunately reveals a radical disconnect and departure from the original therapeutic purpose and use of pure essential oils. Today’s synthetic fragrances are a far cry from the healing balms treasured so much by the ancient world that some were worth more than gold. Instead of being medicinal, today’s fragranced products are associated with diabetes, obesity, autism, ADD/ADHD and hormone disruption.1 Sadly, the person wearing or using the fragrance is not the only one affected. Synthetic fragrance affects air quality for those sharing the space as well.

From pure to perverse, it is twisted irony that the word  fragrance has now gained infamy as the new secondhand smoke when the etymology of the word perfume comes from the Latin phrase, “per” meaning “through” and “fumus” meaning “smoke”.

The emerging awareness of this very “volatile” situation reveals problems much more pervasive and dangerous than tobacco smoke.2 Even washing clothes in detergents and fabric softeners containing fragrances releases toxic chemicals onto the skin and into the air all day long.  At night, sleeping in pajamas and on sheets washed in the same toxic materials has the same effect.  Because of this, people are awash in fragrances 24 hours each day.

Fragrance Is the New Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand Fragrance

When people go to a public place, they are sharing what is now being called “secondhand fragrance”. This is the combination of harmful chemicals being released into the public air space from air fresheners, cleaning products, and scented candles, plus all the products people are wearing (from hair spray, shampoo, clothes, to perfume, etc). Everyone is involuntarily breathing contaminated air even if they choose to not wear fragranced products. It’s time to clear the air and prioritize human health, not economic interest. Already, cities like Detroit have created Fragrance Free Zones, where perfume and aftershave are discouraged. There is a growing tension between two fiercely opposing camps: the National Perfumers Guild and Fragrance Houses versus the “Anti-Fragrance Activists.”3

What could be wrong with a beautiful fragrance? Nothing, if it is a genuine and authentic plant derived, unadulterated essential oil or an organic, wildcrafted scent oil. These oils have been effectively used for fragrance throughout history. However, since World War II, inexpensive, synthetic chemicals can produce fragrances that are abundantly available and can be terribly toxic.

What’s Actually in A Fragranced Product?

Today, fragrance is the elephant in the room. “Fragrance” or “parfum” on an ingredient list actually represents a trade secret fragrance recipe that could be made up of not just one or two chemicals, but hundreds of synthetic chemicals.4 These chemicals are selected from a reservoir of 5,000 ingredients.5 And of this large number of ingredients, none of them actually have to be disclosed or tested for safety.6

According to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) study, 72% of products with the ingredient “fragrance” contained endocrine disruptors called phthalates.7 Phthalates have been linked to diabetes, obesity, liver and breast cancer, hormone disruption affecting fertility and development as well as linked to ADHD and Autism in first and third trimester prenatal exposure. The National Academy of Sciences, working with an expert panel, stated that there may be cancer-causing chemicals in fragrance recipes.8 Unfortunately, because of secrecy and a lack of transparency in labeling, there is really no way for a consumer to make informed decisions about fragranced products.9

Up to 95% of these the synthetic chemicals used to make fragrance recipes are derived from petrochemicals.10 These particular ingredients are known (according to a 1991 EPA analysis) to cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders, asthma, and allergies.11 To make matters even worse for the unsuspecting public, many products labeled as “unscented” are actually the fragranced product with the addition of another masking fragrance.12

What about Natural Fragrance or Essential Oils?

Unfortunately, the term “natural fragrance” or “essential oil” on an ingredient list does not necessarily mean it is safe. In a study analyzing 25 top selling products, researchers found that the “green”, natural, and organic fragranced products emitted just as many hazardous chemicals as regular fragranced products.13 That’s because most essential oils in consumer products are processed with a toxic solvent. In addition, essential oils containing terpenes such as pine and citrus oils react with ozone in surrounding air to create secondary pollutants such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, and ultrafine particles.14 To ensure safety, essential oils in products should be verified as organic and wildcrafted and extracted without solvents. 15, 16

How can we help protect the public?

Fragranced products are harmful to our health. Babies, children, the elderly, and those with cancer or other chronic illness are particularly at risk. The current demand for products that  “smell good” reflects the misinformed innocence of consumers. Awareness of this issue is in its infancy, but the good news is that action is already being taken to pave the way in educating and protecting the public. The American Lung Association has created a fragrance-free policy for workplaces and for schools. Harvard University teaching hospital is a model for promoting fragrance-free policies in their hospital.17 Brigham and Women’s Hospital has even initiated a campaign for fragrance-free health care.

The best way for individuals to influence the fragrance industry is at the cash register – this will ultimately provide the impetus for change in the marketplace.  Be proactive and only buy products that are unscented or have pure, safe essential oils. Even just removing all products with fragrance as an ingredient will immediately improve air quality in your home.  Take charge of your family’s health and wellbeing – ditch these harmful chemicals! 

Clean Up Your Act Branch Basics: Fragrance is the New Secondhand Smoke

 

Join us to Clean Up Your Act. We are pledging the following:

Don’t Buy Fragranced Products (unless contain pure organic essential oils)

Ditch All Synthetic Fragrances

Invest in Fragrance-Free, Nontoxic Alternatives

FURTHER READING:

Curious about fragrances and other chemicals that might be lurking in your home already? Check out this article on the dangers of common laundry chemicals and what they do: Do You Know What’s In Your Laundry Detergent? Want to replace your air freshener? Our favorite DIY options are here: Nontoxic Air Fresheners | Remove Odors Naturally.

Want another trick for improving indoor air quality? Find out why we’re loving Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps! Keep reading about chemicals to avoid in your home: Common Chemicals to Avoid – A Branch Basics Series.

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188 Comments

  1. We went to Tucson to visit our daughter back in October. She had the nasty “fragrance” outlet thingies in almost every room and one for her car’s lighter. I couldn’t breathe! So I went through and took out all the poisonous offending items even tho she wasn’t happy with me. It was so much easier to go through the day with her. After we left she plugged everything back in and it wasn’t long before she realized that her “allergies” and headaches came back right away with the noxious “fragrances”! She had not realized that the “nasties” were the cause of her maladies. So Momma was right again (wink, wink) 😀

    Thanks,

    Peggy

    1. Peggy – thanks for your comment! We’re so glad to hear that you helped your daughter realize the source of her health issues. Fragrance is definitely a problem that many people don’t associate with their health and discomfort. Way to go Mom!!

    2. Good on you listening to yourself allergies have been on the increase bet your daughter is happier now eh

    1. Great question! Safe replacements for synthetic fragrances are not hard to find. As we mention in the article, you should first ditch the stuff that is degrading your indoor air quality. Then, when shopping, look for products that contain essential oils or wildcrafted fragrances. For candles, it’s best to find a clean-burning soy candle with an essential oil fragrance. Beware candles and other products that include both essential oils as well as synthetic fragrance though! That’s an inexpensive alternative for the manufacturing process, but will have the same negative effects on your health. Invest in good quality ingredients!

      1. Beeswax candles purify the air. I burn and carry them with me all the time. I have severe multiple chemical sensitivity

    2. Beeswax candles are all natural, have a great natural scent and great golden color. They are more expensive than the petroleum/parrafin-based candles, but I prefer the trade-off for better health.

      Also, if you research the history of candles, they were commonly made with tallow (animal fat). I read that most butcher shops will give you the leftover tallow for free, so you can make your own natural candles. There are recipes online for rendering the tallow.

    3. YES there are non toxic candles…electric ones! They work great, create ambiance and don’t kill people. They also don’t burn to the point of disappearing nor are they fire hazards. You just have to change the batteries.

    4. There is a great company called Way Out Wax out of Vermont. I use their tealights in a Scensy burner.

    5. Pure bees wax is the best. The natural sweet fragrance is all we need.
      Or add a little pure essential oil if you need to.

    6. I use 100% beeswax candles. Other candles made with petrochemicals and/or lead wick holders. An alternative is soy candles, but since I am allergic to soy, that is not an option for me. I have never researched the other ingredients in soy candles.

    7. I react to many including soya candles..”Plain old church candles or ones that use good essences I have found problem free for me”. Many incenses, soaps and candles have petro based chemicals highly allergic and I can’t even walk in the door of those shops now my lungs and weird fear feeling tells me not to enter. I also use natural sage or eucalyptus if smoking house. Best to go Natural as poss

    8. I would rather not burn anything but diffuse some therapeutic essential Oils, (ones that are known not to have ANY synthetics in them). My family are so much better because of it.

  2. Hi – Any advice for dealing with “excessively perfumed” people in the office space who don’t understand and don’t care that they are making me sick? Thank you.

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Thanks for your comment! Responding to these issues in the workplace can be rather delicate – it’s hard to alert people to the health hazards of their actions. However, there are good precedents for creating a safe, fragrance-free workplace. As the article mentions, there are templates (like this one: http://action.lung.org/site/DocServer/fragrance-free-workplace.pdf) that may help you negotiate with others in the office. It’s likely you’re not the only one who is already suffering from the effects of the fragrance! Best of luck to you and let us know how it goes.
      Madeleine

      1. Thank you! I’m not alone! Finally someone’s speaking out! I’m so sensitive to sents & over perfumed people. At work, it’s impossible to tell people. I can literally feel & sometimes taste the chemical in my mouth! I’m always wishing I could sue some of these fragrance companies for poisoning me & making life miserable.

      2. I had to retire early due to the fragrance issue at work. I attempted to have something done, but without a doctors diagnosis (impossible to get on an HMO) they wouldn’t give me the time of day. It was awful; the entire building (new and completely sealed) reeked-the elevators were the worst. By the end of the week, I was literally sick (burning eyes, coughing, headache, dizzy, grumpy, etc.). I simply could not take it anymore, so as soon as I hit 55 years old, I left (despite the financial hit!).
        Now, I struggle to deal with the fragrances I encounter everywhere, every day… Since when has it become the norm to slather oneself in cologne before going to the gym, or on a run, or a bike ride?! I can’t even go out on my patio when my neighbors are doing their laundry! I feel like a prisoner…

    2. I had the same issue at work. Depending on where you live you might want to check to see if your state recognizes chemical sensitivity as a disability. In the state of California it falls under the American with Disabilities Act and is considered an invisible disability.
      I was able to ask for a reasonable accommodation at work. Although it was a fight in the beginning to get people to understand, however through education, I’ve made many people aware of the issues that I suffer. We now have a fragrance free policy in our office.
      The main thing is don’t be afraid to speak out and educate people. A good site for that is http://www.thinkbeforeyoustink.com or www.http://cleanerindoorair.org
      Good luck!

    3. I had no choice but to educate my co-workers. Many were considerate and stopped using perfumes and fragrant lotions. Others said, essentially, “screw you, I like this stuff”. I put a sign up on my door that said “your perfume is my poison” and listed some of the symptoms I can get.

      I went to HR and was successful in getting it officially labeled as a disability, and got a window A/C installed in my office. We ran it summer and winter.

      I learned that the best time to tell a new co-worker was at 4:30 in the afternoon. There is nothing they can do for you that day, and if you tell them in the morning they keep going to the bathroom and washing their hands and arms and then coming back to tell you. It doesn’t help and it just embarrasses both of you.

      1. annieb523 So sorry for how hard this is for many of us! I have trouble with the fragrance in the hand soap in soooo many restrooms – so this extra hand washing of your newly-informed co-worksers could have been especially troublesome for me!

        There are a couple restaurants where I live where I used to enjoy the food, but now I find just the smell of the soap emanating from the rest rooms, or on the hands of the servers who wash there, so strong and repulsive (and toxic!) , that I no longer wish to eat there – the bad fragrance is stronger than the food!

    4. I used to wear a charcoal mask and/or an ionizer necklace. You might look strange, but it drives home the point and makes it so you can think clear anyway.

    5. Hi Sandy, our daughter was severely chemically sensitive since the age of about 10. Even if she walked past someone with spray-on deodorant or perfume sprayed on her clothes etc., etc., she would have a reaction and often in bed for 2-3 weeks as a result of breathing the chemicals in. We tried many products over all the years of her school life and University and eventually have found something that works. If you make contact with me on our email andwal@bigpond.com I’ll be happy to share more with you. Faye

    6. Don’t feel bad. I am going thru that right now. It is a sensitive topic but stand your ground. We have a Nurse Practitioner that does not understand either. She refers to it as just bad allergies but our issue is more than that. We are sensitive to multiple chemicals. I found an Environmental doctor in Dallas Texas but have not gone to see him yet. I had to cancel for personal reasons. Prayer is what I do first and then God will take over and your co workers will eventually come around to understand. Also, let your HR Department know. Keep all your documentation. By law, we are supposed to be accommodated.

      Regards

  3. Hi, I have Lupus and now a heart problem. I love to use Scentsy, what would be a good alternative. I would like to still use it, do they sell something safe for Scentsy?

    1. Lisa,
      Thanks for your comment. We don’t know much about Scentsy, but we encourage you to look for natural fragrance products. When you are shopping, only buy products with nontoxic ingredients like wildcrafted oils and safe essential oils. Don’t compromise on products that use a mix of synthetic and natural ingredients! Happy Cleaning!

    2. Hi Lisa,
      You might try scented products from a company I work with called For Every Home and Style. We offer plant-based candles, wax cubes, and non-toxic plant based odor absorbing sprays and gels, all made in Utah. Our wax products are made from soy and coconut wax and are fragranced with only essential oils. You probably own Scentsy warmers, but our warmers are dual purpose in that you can put a candle directly on the warming plate to melt the wax and enjoy the fragrance without lighting the candle. Learn more at http://www.foreveryhomeandstyle.com/janine And by the way, I also have lupus–for 30 years now. I’d be happy to chat with you to hear how you’re doing.

    3. Hi, Lisa. I am an independent essential oil distributor for a company called Young Living. They sell 100% therapeutic-grade oils that actually help with health problems, like lupus and heart conditions. Their oils also smell out- of-this-world good! If you’re interested in learning more, you can email me at maestra1_99@yahoo.com and I can tell you more about more about them.

    4. Hi Lisa,

      I have Lupus as well. I loved fragrance for a long time, but always got really bad headaches from them and kept getting sick all the time. Plus, my RA only seemed to keep getting worse.
      My cousin convinced me to try Young Living. I did my homework first and found out that you could go onto their farm and see they had no synthetics in their Therapeutic Grade oils. I had read this was part of the problem with a lot of products I was using, so glad they talk about it in this article, because most people don’t realize the affect it has on individuals.
      This is the first time I have not been sick during the winter months and actually felt better. On top of that, my cousins Lyme Disease numbers have gone down using them. But best of all, my husband doesn’t snore anymore. lol
      If you are interested, here is more information about the company: http://www.ylwebsite.com/younglivingpureoils
      Go to the Essential Oils tab on top, when the drop-down comes up, click on Seed to Seal.

    5. Scentsy is pure poison! I have problems with all kinds of fragrances, but scentsy goes straight to my head, gives me migraines and stays on my clothes and hair. After visiting with friends who use it, I have to go home and shower and change my clothes. Then I just stop seeing those friends which makes me sad, but they don’t understand. I wish that company would be exposed for the killer chemicals they’ve put in people’s homes!! Yuck. Stay away and use organic oils if you must have fragrance.

  4. Thank you for this article! I’m just recently learning about all these daners and switching but I’m not sure what products are safe. Is there fragrances that you recommend that are good or a link where I can find detergent, air freshners, candles that can be safe? I have two small girls and want to make sure the air in our house is safe. Thank you again!

    1. Thank you for your comment! There are many safe products available. We sell nontoxic, plant-based, concentrated soap that you can use for laundry (www.branchbasics.com/shop) and we also sell scent oils that can be used for air fresheners as well. When shopping for candles, look for natural materials and nontoxic scents made from wildcrafted or essential oils. Happy cleaning!

    2. Hi Elsa,
      I just fell upon this artical, from a long time ago, and understand your feelings! We have three grown girls with little girls and boys now. When they were little I tried hard to be very natural, but at that time there was not a lot of information, and I probably didn’t research enough. I am and our girls are now very natural and aware! We use doTERRA certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils, for our health and emotional concerns, cleaning supplies, diffusing is wonderful, for every day living. Again, I realize this is from a long time ago and hopefully you have found good oils.

  5. THANK YOU for this article! I have a huge problem with fragrances, perfumes, etc., and the problem has gotten worse over the last few years. I could go on and on about the times I’ve had to leave rooms, move to different tables or seats, etc because some person has overused their fragrance. And women’s restrooms that have automated fragrance cartridges…I cannot go in those rooms. I am going to share this and share it again several times.

  6. I agree with this wholeheartedly
    Thought potpourri was a natural product though,
    I’ve coined a new word some time ago, Perfumigated
    As I walked the aisle I was Perfumigated by so and so,s perfume

  7. I have been plagued my entire life with headaches, overall pain, bronchitis, sinusitis, and laryngitis. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with asthma and COPD. I know to avoid these things. Are there any groups for people like us? By the way, even soy candles bother me. I find anything with “oil” bothersome. Petroleum products in particular bother me. My dad was a truck driver. He hauled gasoline and his clothing always smelled of gasoline, which explains why I was often sick as a child.

    1. Although there are several names for some of this I use Multiple Chemical Sensitivity because that pretty much covers what I am dealing with: sensitivity to multiple chemicals. There are lots of websites and facebook accounts for people who need more information or support.

  8. Target’s candle section is overpowering. Has made me physically ill. Burning candles close up my throat and give me blinding migraines.

  9. I am soooo going to post this link on my facebook page.

    I’ve long been aware that perfume/fragrances are one of the major triggers for my migraines (although for me it’s not restricted to artificial smells – oranges are a big trigger for me) – the problem is trying to educate everyone around me so that they realise it is a genuine problem and not just me making it up! We had a desk move at work a few months ago, and I ended up with people near me wearing products that caused me a mix of migraines and breathing issues…I had to raise the issue with a manager who was able to get certain colleagues to change what they use. The situation still isn’t perfect, but it improved a lot at that point.

    I went to a concert a couple of years ago – and had to change seats as I couldn’t breath sitting next to the stranger to my right – turned out she hadn’t even put any perfume on that day, and it was just the residue hanging around on her jumper.

    And I’m currently having a ‘discussion’ with the gym I attend regarding the product they use for wiping equipment down after use. Sadly, even though they claim to be a health club they clearly don’t grasp the health implications of the products they continue to use.

    I think the UK are really lagging behind on awareness of this issue at the moment – but it’s about time more people were made to understand the negative impact their choices have on people around them.

    1. Look up Betty Bridges, RN in UK, fragrance. She got sick while working as a dialysis nurse. One day she came to work and the disinfectant spray had a new formula with a different fragrance. It took her time to find this out, eventually she had to quit working. Her website(s) are VERY informative. It was NOT the cleaning part of the product that made her sick, but the fragrance.

  10. Excellent article , thank you ! I am badly affected myself after initial poisoning from organophosphates in contaminated cabin air on aircraft. I first became aware of the toxic fumes in perfumes when I got very nauseous, dizzy followed by a bad headache after inhaling a mouthful of a fragrance called White Linen ( don’t know if it still exists) – I will never forget that horrific smell and the name . Sharing the article. Well done ! B.

  11. Been doing this for a long time in my house. Fragrances are a migraine trigger for most members of the household.

    But how in the heck does one “Invest in fragrance-free products” ? They are an expense, not an investment. The word “invest” is all too frequently used as a synonym for “buy” or “spend”, but it is not.

  12. This is a great article, however, many people who are sensitive to synthetic fragrances are also sensitive to essential oils. If you know someone who is sensitive to fragrance, it’s best not to wear any scents at all.

    Also, the term fragrance-free means no scents at all. Please don’t confuse people by implying that essential oils are okay in a fragrance-free environment.

    1. Ditto! Not all essential oils are tolerated by vulnerable people attempting to contribute and participate in society. Thank you for pointing that out, M.

    2. I have always been sensitive to odors where they might give me a headache. I started driving a school bus and I had a student whose mom put an essential oil on him every morning before putting him on the bus. The smell was always a problem for me. One day, after a month of driving him, I had an episode where I felt like my throat was closing up. I told my boss I can’t do that route anymore. She called the mom and the mom said she’d apply it in a different place but wouldn’t stop using it. I had to be switched to another route. That was when I think my body was overdosed on fragrances, because now I am even more sensitive to all fragrances. Someone sprayed a floral air freshener in the bathroom at work and I immediately got a migraine. Going to church, funerals, and even family get togethers have gotten difficult for me. It’s hard to get people to realize that it’s a real problem for some of us. We’re not being picky. It’s an actual health issue.

    3. I know this post is a couple years old but THANK YOU! I’m so sick of people saying that essential oils aren’t a problem because they are suppose to be natural!! I still can’t breathe when I’m around them. Fragrance free is none at all!!

    4. Amen! I think essential oils are almost worse because people think that they’re natural so therefore they’re safe and over use them. All of my friends are on an essential oil kick and they use them for EVERYTHING….hand sanitizer, disinfectant, you name it they have a use for it. Not to mention they’re very concentrated and they don’t really smell very good. Yes, synthetic smells give me a migraine but essential oils make me almost pass out.

      1. Just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it is safe. Arsenic is natural!

  13. Forgot to add, that essential oils are NOT SAFE for EVERYONE. Please avoid making blanket statements like that in the future. Thank you.

    1. Does this include all the Do-Terra products? I have friends that sell them and my boss uses one of those misters. They are really bothering me, headaches, itchiness, etc! Plus the smell itself, yuck!

      1. Hi Shelly! People are often sensitive even to the safest essential oils. What is safe for someone else may bother you tremendously. Even natural fragrance is not safe for everyone!

  14. This is an outstanding article! I have been fragrance-free for years now. It’s not as hard as people might think as there are many products out there that are made without scents. The problem is the public has been brainwashed into thinking we MUST STINK in order to be accepted. We MUST buy scented shampoo or smelly soaps because the work better. What is needed is more basic public education on the toxicity of these products. What I really like about this article as it calls for people to come together and support a common purpose. I would like to see more public education and to be part of it, I want to buy a t-shirt or something to show my support and wear it around in my own community. I think people who are chemically sensitive are going to find this article, but how do we spread the message more effectively to people who don’t have a clue? They are the ones who are the problem.

  15. Loved this information and respect your voice! Did you know there is a difference between non toxic and toxic free? Are you ware that the earth has provided us with phytonutrient rich antioxidant superfood that neutrilize free radicas….100% toxic free…check it out
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  16. And people with Asthma. We can’t take any of it. Me and my family had to leave a movie theatre because a few women sat in the row in front of us and all had on 30 pounds of perfume and hairspray. Disgusting when you can taste it in your mouth.

  17. Must applaud you for this!!! I’m in the business of educating on the dangers of synthetic fragrances and one of my biggest struggles today is the overuse of them in public everywhere we go. Setting foot in any public ladies room, and most stores has become ridiculous. My throat will often burn, because I am now sensitive to it, but I feel we have a right to not be involuntarily assaulted by carcinogens. I was recently sprayed on directly at the front door of a “natural” pet store with an automatic Glade death spritzer. Beyond frustrating. Keep up the great work; I’ll be following!

  18. Thank you so much for this, so well stated!
    Will be sharing this with my clients.
    I tell them all the time how synthetic fragrances and low quality essential oils are some of the most toxic things we can have in our environment.
    Great to have a wonderful cleaning product to recommend to them as well.

  19. This is the most informative article that I have read in years. It is everything that I have been suffering for years and now I understand why. Perfumes, air freshener or room sprays will give me a migraine headache in minutes. I work for a Health Care Organization and a few months ago a co-worker brought a air freshener to work that gave me a migraine everyday. I went to her first and explained that it triggered my migraines and would she please remove it. She replied no, she liked it and would be keeping it. I went to management and they informed me they could not make her remove it. I did finally convince my supervisor to move my work area away from her. Thank you for the information.

  20. I almost hate to admit after reading all of the comments from other readers, but I enjoy wearing perfume. I don’t do so to overwhelm a room. I believe my scent should be experienced by another if that person is close enough to feel the warmth from my skin.

    I’m a tad old fashion and do not like most of the trendy designer fragrances that are out there.

    I prefer perfumes by older established perfumeries like Guerlain. As Europe has higher standards than the good ‘o USA, is it possible that there are fragrances that are not toxic? If there is a source out there, I am interested.

    Thank you for not judging me.

    1. it doesn’t matter how much you are wearing or how light your fragrance is–it still can give those who are extremely sensitive headaches and other symptoms.

    2. It’s not the “smell”, it’s the chemicals. The chemicals are toxic and harm the people around you. Well you too of course but you’ve decided that you want to use them. You aren’t allowing those around you to make that choice. You are choosing for them. I hope you consider that.

      1. I have the same issue at work! The worst offender is the HR manager! I tell her it’s not the smell it’s the chemicals! I literally cannot breathe when I’m around her and all she says is I’m too sensitive!

  21. Working at the post office (mail carrier) we sort lots of sales flyers and magazines with scented inserts etc. One in particular would make my nose sting and give me a headache. Too damn strong!

    1. Drives me crazy to open my mailbox and already smell the fragrance from an insert in a magazine, bill or advertisement.

  22. Hello,
    I make perfume for a living.
    My studio cabinet is full of both synthetic and natural materials which I use every day at 100% strength.
    Am I worried about this? No.
    Am I worried for the three women who work for me? No. But I do take care that they never get 100% natural citrus or spice essential oils on their skin as these are the most likely to cause rashes.

    I use both natural and synthetic materials in my fragrances. They are all made of chemicals. Some are made by plants; some are made by people. Water – dihydrogen oxide – is a chemical. Rose essential oil naturally contains geraniol, phenyl ethyl alcohol, and around 500 other chemicals which make its beautiful smell. Sniff a rose and your brain is interpreting chemical signals.

    I realise that there is nothing at all I could write here that would help you to understand the science, or which would make you realise that you are dangerously mistaken, because you’ve already made up your mind.

    People love a scare story.

    Here’s how believing the piece above actually causes the headaches you state are caused by perfume. (I would encourage you to read the work of genuine scientists like Professor Thomas Hummer, anosmia expert – that’s loss of sense of smell).

    People who can no longer smell – anosmics – never get headaches from perfume, nor do they think they “can’t breathe” when there is a scent present. The same scents are there, they enter by the nose, but the brain can’t perceive them. People who worry that perfume will give them a headache will get a headache. But it’s not caused by the perfume; that is physically impossible now that perfume regulations only allow materials to be used at safe concentrations.

    The reason people get headaches from perfume is the stress of believing that they are about to get a headache. You personally have probably caused thousands of unnecessary stress headaches BT suggesting to people that they are in danger when they smell perfume.

    Your approach is irresponsible and panic mongering. You are personally causing concern, anguish and genuine pain. I suggest you stop it.

    1. “People love a scare story.”
      Not all people love a scare story; I for one hate scare stories. But this is not a scare story. It is bringing awareness of a real and valid concern for many individuals, including myself, and a way of bringing the topic to other’s attention. The manifestation of different symptoms, not just headaches, is not a psychological phenomenon as you suggest, but a physiologic process which science has yet to find answers regarding the specifics. I suspect the immune system is significantly involved and science is constantly learning new things about health, including the immune system daily. So anyone with any fixed idea is “dangerously mistaken.”
      You may not be concerned for yourself or your workers. Everyone has different threshold levels for different chemicals, including phthalates (there is a lot of scientific literature on phthalates as endocrine disruptors) and since health is multifactorial, it is often difficult to associate a direct cause and effect between individual factors. Symptoms may be subclinical or they may not manifest until later.
      I appreciate you use some natural materials in your products. Most of the time sensitivities are to synthetic components, as our bodies have a difficult time adapting to the ever increasing amount of new chemicals every year. Those of us who are sensitive would appreciate your developing all natural, non-synthetic products.

    2. Did you know that people go into severe asthmatic attacks when people wear Parfums near them? Have you ever seen someone almost die, because someone is wearing Parfums or the fragrance (synthetic chemicals) of hair spray is closing their airway? This is a very REAL situation people have to deal with. It is not a scare article. One does not get a headache or sneezing or itchy eyes or swollen throat, lungs and throat burning by “thinking they are going to”.
      These are physiological changes to the body, not psychological.
      As a Respiratory Therapist, I have seen my fair share of these reactions to fragrance, the synthetic chemicals and the like. When a patient has the door closed and a sign that says not to wear parfum or fragrance, it is to be taken SERIOUSLY! I have seen a woman almost die due to Anaphylaxic shock. A care giver went into this patient’s room, had fragranced hair spray on, not parfum, and the patient immediately started getting the reaction. She was worse than when she came in for her original malady. Sent to ICU after our medical team went to work on saving her. This is no joking matter and should not be taken lightly!
      You are running a business. That’s fine, but take note, your products are not for everyone. Situations like the one I mentioned, do happen frequently Maybe it would be a wise investment to go synthetic free in your business.

  23. Does anyone know of a lawyer in the Chicago area that has been successful in getting a company to go fragrance free in the workplace? I suffer from this greatly and my HR dept says they cannot help.

  24. Not sure if anyone pointed this out, but I didn’t notice it mentioned, specifically, in the article; using liquid softener products in a dryer, which leave a harsher residue than dryer sheets. This particular odor hangs on forever, even after washing something multiple times the strong softener smell remains. I gave my daughter wool balls to use in her dryer, as a replacement, but she doesn’t like them. She actually likes the smell the softener leaves on her clothes. YUK!

    1. You can use Essential Oils on the wool dryer balls to add fragrance to your clothes.
      After the clothes are dry, place a few drops on a dryer ball, then run dryer on Air Fluff for 5 to 10 minutes. This is wonderful and the scent lasts for days. I love Lemongrass or Lavender. I use Young Living essential oils.
      I am an independent sales consultant for Norwex, and we don’t add fragrance to our cleaners. They are all enzyme based. No irritation to lungs, or eyes.
      I’m so glad I have read this article. Trying to reduce harmful chemicals is a major movement! Educating people takes a long time. Getting people to change their lifestyle is very hard. Baby steps though.

      1. Katharine,people will whine about the oils too.Maybe everyone should just find their own individual ways to deal with it? I worked in an office for years,where people routinely microwaved popcorn,It smelled like warm dog urine to me,and permeated the whole building.My solution? A small desk fan.You cant make everyone in the world cater to a whiny few.If someone is sooooo “scensitive”?Then what do they do when tge lawns get mowed? Or the flowers bloom? Nah,I dont buy it.i think ts just a few folks trying to be ‘special”.

  25. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. As someone who has chemical sensitivities, I’m made very ill from fragrances. Thanks for such a great post. I’m sharing it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the informative post. I suffer from chemical sensitivity and my daughter found this post and shared it with me. I am so glad to see this issue getting talked about more and consciousness being raised about this issue. So many people have no idea how they are being affected.

  27. “Benzoin oil is extracted from the resin of a seven years and older tree by solvent extraction and yields about 65-85 % oil.” is a sentence I found to tell me what is this oil. It was listed as an ingredient in a product that someone had recommended in the comments. I have come to learn that “solvent” means run the other way as it is usually a petroleum distillate. Not good for ANYONE, especially those with MCS, lupus, migraine, etc etc. and especially children.

  28. I have suffered from scents in the office for a while now. Perfume closes up my ears and I lose my hearing. After extensive research, I have found that not only is Florida a right to work state, but there is nothing to protect me against the awful experience.

  29. Just found this on FaceBook through a fellow member of MCS, which is Multible Chemical Sensitivity Group. I intend to share this information on FaceBook. Thank you so much!

  30. It’s funny, but my whole adult life I have been using perfumed soap in the shower and fragrance free soap to wash my face. When I got married, my husband decided that in order to make it easier, instead of buying two different soaps, we should just buy the fragrance free and then all of us could use it, while I would still have it to use on my face. A few years later, I purchased the perfumed soap by mistake and decided to use it to not waste money. As soon as I lathered up, my nose started to hurt and it hurt my eyes. I realized that I could no longer tolerate that poison perfume.

  31. Great article! I get asked a lot about why my skin looks so young at my age, and I can attribute a portion of that to using UNSCENTED products and very minimal perfumes since I was 18 (over 20 years ago) when I learned about the damage that scented products and perfumes can have on your skin. Making that change (as well as having asthma and allergies though not to chemical scents) certainly make it a challenge to be around anyone using them. I gag and have a hard time breathing around anyone that does, especially when they are close like in an elevator or bus. Thanks for helping to spread the word about the effects of fragrance and synthetic chemicals!

  32. OSHA also took on the passive smoking fraud and this is what came of it:

    Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    http://www.nap.edu/catalog/13163/reference-manual-on-scientific-evidence-third-edition

    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”

    OSHA SAFE LEVELS

    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  33. E-cigs contain perfume! I’m battling with my work to ban them in my work area because they cause me to have a severe reaction with not being able to breathe, heart racing, and dizziness. If someone walks by me shortly after “vaping”, same thing. I don’t know why anyone would want to “smoke” perfume.

  34. I live in England and I’m having the same problem with synthetic fragrances. I had been ill on and off for a long time but I couldn’t figure out the cause. Last year I got so ill I was finally allergy tested at the Royal London Hospital, in London and the test showed positive mainly to fragrances. When I was first told I remember I started to cry. I remember thinking, okay, I may be allergic to some of the fragrances in the products I’m using but surely they couldn’t be making me this ill – I was wrong. When I got home I started to research all the information I could and I found the synthetic chemicals I was told to avoid were being used in everything, including food. I was also amazed to find the side effects of these chemicals are well known to many in the scientific and medical community.
    I knew then that the only way to be sure what was making me ill was to go as fragrance and chemical free as I could and to follow an elimination diet. I chose a diet designed by doctors in The Royal Prince Albert Hospital, Sidney, Australia called The Failsafe Diet and I replaced all my fragranced products with fragrance free, this included personal care, laundry and cleaning prodcuts – I also changed the products my family were using to fragrance free. I changed my diet and stopped eating foods that contained additives and ate and drank only foods that were allowed on the diet. After just five days I began to feel well and by the sixth and seventh day I felt better than I had felt for years.
    Nearly one year on I still follow the diet and through the process of elimination and re-introduction I have found that I am salicylate and amine sensitive but I have to do all I can to avoid synthetic fragrances.

  35. This is a post I wrote a few years back with my experience with “the new secondhand smoke”. As a child I had difficulty communicating my frustration with cigarette smoke. The first noticeable reactions with fragrance was as a child now in my 50s the challenge has increased. Thanks for letting me share.
    bit.ly/17ATK5h

  36. Thank you for this article. I disagree that it is all in one’s head, that one gets a headache from perfume because one believes they will.

    I have developed asthma as an adult, and when I go out for a walk and walk by a house where they are doing laundry using chemicals in the dryer, my lungs close up and I cough and can’t breathe. Not because I thought this would happen. I had no way of knowing. If I knew, I would avoid it. It isn’t fun to be suddenly suffocating.

    Also, I don’t have to smell it to have a reaction. I knew a man who had lost his sense of smell and was very chemically sensitive. He had to wear a mask 24/7 because he could go into acute respiratory distress unaware of the nearby fragrance trigger.

    A naturopath turned me on to a remedy called Chem Defense, which helps immensely if I am out and about and someone is wearing fragrance and I get triggered. I think you can get it at Vitacost. I never go to the movies or concerts without it in my bag. Almost instant help.

    Thanks again for the article. Glad to not feel so alone in this.

  37. Thanks for your article. This is why I have chosen to use Young Living Essential Oils for my family. We use no chemicals for cleaning, all natural toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner. All these things have ‘fragrance’ in them. These fragrances are so harmful to us. I also use my Young Living Essential Oils for headaches, muscle relaxants, mood booster, hormone supplement, air freshener, bug spray, disinfectant for cuts and scrapes. I am so tired of our sick care system which only cares about us when we get sick. Why don’t we start doing things to help us NOT get sick! I am so passionate about helping others find their way to better health and wellness through Young Living Essential Oils. If anyone has any questions I am more than happy to talk!

  38. Just because something is synthetic doesn’t make it bad and conversely natural isn’t always healthy. Many plants will make you seriously sick or kill you. The perfume industry has a regulating body called the IFRA that rigorously tests the ingredient in fragrances and limits their concentration or bans them outright. A lot of their bans have been against natural ingredient that were found to cause issues. With natural ingredients you are getting not only getting the molecule that smells good but many others as well. Most synthetics are exact copies of the smell good molecules found in nature without all of the molecules that don’t contribute to smell and could potentially be dangerous.

  39. Thanks so much for this article. I am chemically sensitive and for the longest time people thought I was nuts – and most doctors just called it allergies…It is wonderful to begin seeing articles and regulations supporting my decade-long concern about all the chemicals in our food and products. And I agree, fragrance is one of the worst offenders – to the point of making me feel sick to my stomach. Thinking of babies and small children covered in all this s@!#t is the worst!

  40. I work in a one room Post Office, and very often I have to open a window and turn on a fan to blow out “perfumed” air. Since the outdoor temp is often below freezing and sometimes below zero, other customers sometimes ask questions. When I answer “A customer had on strong perfume” just about every customer tells me about a meeting, a Sunday in church, or a dinner when they were given a headache or cough by someone’s perfume. Yet, no one mentions it to the offender! The message needs to be public, that it’s not okay to smell up a room. I feel particularly bad for the babies who are in cars with these women. Thanks for getting the message out.

  41. I can not believe how one sided and biased this feature is. And quite simply from a factual fragrance and perfumer understanding how incorrect so many of these points are.
    So many more natural substances are more harmful than synthetic. Synthetics are there as a replacement when natural form is not an option- in the case of decent perfumers at least.
    In most cases “synthetic” is a way of taking natural molecules and re-writing them, extracting certain molecules only. So you are left with a reworked of reduced version of a natural anyway, with simply less in.
    Regarding headaches etc.. This is so subjective. Fragrance enters the limbic system like no other sense does. So naturally it’s going to have the most emotional response.

    1. Paige,
      Thank you for your reply and opinion. You are right, there are many natural substances that are poisonous. If a fragrance contains a harmful substance that is natural that would be a problem. If a fragrance is made up of synthetic chemicals that are not harmful, then there is no problem. Products are made up of a synergistic blend of ingredients which all interact together. This article is not about perfumers that create a synergistic blend of ingredients that are not harmful. Whether natural or synthetic, the point of the article is that many fragranced products do contain ingredients documented to cause harm that are present in the end product.

    2. Really? So all the cases of fragrance allergy are made up ? Talk to the contact allergy dermatologists and get some figures and get back to us. People are carrying epinephrine injectors and antihistamines just to go out in public near fragrances lately. Can you speak to that please? Limbic system argument won’t cut it. What has changed in the fragrance formulations that could be the cause of these severe new allergies? Oh , sorry its proprietary information, what’s causing full respiratory shut down. Right.

  42. Karen Hurd (aka ‘The Bean Queen’) has some insightful information on fragrances, including essential oils. She’s been raising the red flag about fragrances (regardless if they are natural/organic) since there is no buffer between scents and our olfactory system. Scents stimulate our adrenal system, just like caffeine does. Over stimulation of the adrensal system can lead to more health issues. For more info, check out http://www.karenhurd.com.

  43. Can you inform us if any isothiazoles are used ( any or all part per million or percentages requesting information) in any of your formulations as “biodegradable ” preservatives or surfactants ( both ionic/nonanionic slurries used as base products? )
    Methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone , benzisothiazolinone , octylisothiazolinone??

    1. Rebekah,

      This is an important question to ask about all products you use. There are no isothiazolinones in Branch Basics. Isothiazolinones are EPA registered pesticides used as preservatives.

      Thank you so much for your inquiry,

      Marilee

  44. Check with your local honey producer to see if they also make beeswax candles. I bought several for Christmas gifts and bought the “seconds” to burn in my home (second were a bit cheaper). The natural scent of beeswax is lovely.

  45. This is a perfect example of “give em an inch and theyll take a mile” One of the first things kids learn is if something causes pain or disconfort THEN DONT DO IT AND AVOID IT. You dont like the smells somewhere then dont go there.
    This sense of entitlement is counteracting evolution and is a main contributing faxtor to the declining state that the world is in.

    1. We can’t always avoid it. My neighbor’s dryer vent blows in my house and she was using Bounce. When the weather is warm I need my windows open. I was on antibiotics every year because of the sinus infections it caused, so I asked her if she would please switch to all natural drier sheets and she did. I haven’t had a sinus infection since.

      My husband has asthma and it can be life threatening for him. I think you are, perhaps, not understanding how prevelant the scents are these days. My daughter took her first trip to Europe and had to keep a scarf wrapped around her nose and mouth because the people next to her wore so much perfume.

      When you suggest that we just stay away from the scents I wonder if you’re aware of how prevelant they are? And you mention entitlement…Are we not entitled to breathe air that doesn’t cause health problems? It sounds as though your thoughts on the topic are insensitive and that you, too, have feelings of entitlement – entitled to have the scents you want, wherever you want, regardless of the harmful effect it has on others.

  46. I’m so glad to see this issue being discussed. My husband and I are both synthetic fragrance sensitive. It’s very difficult for us to be anywhere where we are exposed; which seems to be almost every public place these days. Even while taking a walk, or having our windows open during warm weather, we are often exposed to scented laundry products.

    For people who think we’re “too sensitive” – it’s the sensitive portion of any species that first react to what is unhealthy for the whole.

  47. I have to add that money often reeks of perfume, hand soaps in many public bathrooms are scented with synthetic fragrances, just going shopping we end up coming home smelling like everyone’s perfumes, I tutor and almost all the teenage girls drench themselves with scents, not to mention the moms that are waiting in the waiting area….”avoid it”? How?

  48. I am absolutely sick of the mentioned fragrances. Literally. Essential/Homeopathic oils, scented candles, body washes- and gifts- the easiest gift to get a woman- a set of scented body wash supplies.
    These so called essential oils may be good for you, but guess what, many of us cannot, simply breathe clearly when we inhale.
    Every product I use is fragrance free- or as much as I can buy- no need to mention what they trigger but as some one already mentioned, COPD, asthma, headaches, nausea, sinusitis…..

  49. All of these comments about headaches and loss of focus are great. However, one of the most serious responses to fragrance is the lung lock. Many people with asthma can feel of their lungs cinch up before they’re even aware of what they’re smelling. Fragrance is actually a serious problem, and I am glad someone is paying attention.

  50. Thanks for a very informative article. I became chemically sensitive after breathing chemicals in my beauty shop for many years. I now dodge fragrances, strong cleaning products and live a green life as much as possible. There are many safe products out there. More education is needed to inform people who simply don’t know they are poisoning their own environment. I use All fragrance free detergent. I find fabric softeners, liquid and sheets to be some of the most toxic products available. Also perfumed lotion. I recommend Cetaphil and Eucerin skin products.

  51. I have known for many years that fragrance and flowers are migraine triggers for me. Through research, I figured out it’s the ethylene they both have. I am sensitive to other chemicals as well. I can’t wear perfume or nail polish. I have been using perfume free soaps and detergents for many years. I have not been able to get my husband on board with more natural cleaners. I prefer vinegar and he prefers pinesol (which headache inducing). So what if the house smells like a pickle for an hour, I won’t have a raging headache! Trying to get perfume Shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t cost a fortune is a true pain!!!

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  53. When my son was born he was very restless, cried a lot, he had reflux and as he got a little older he was hard to control. We got a new van and when we went for a drive he was uncontrollable. We figured out very quickly as a baby he couldn’t handle synthetic smells. In the church nursery we asked the ladies please no perfume when you work. When someone had perfume he didn’t go in. When we bought a new house we bought a model home that was already a year old to eliminate that new house smell. In our house we have every thing unscented. Now he’s older but is burning candles and wears cologne all the time. He’s been waking up with flu like symptoms. He has a hard time concentrating on anything. I will share this article for sure it makes sense. Thank you.

  54. I totally agree that scented candles, plug in scents, etc are harming me..At work I share an office with coworkers that spray the fabreeze, light the scented candles, etc..As soon as I get to work I have a headache and feel sick to the stomach..Even though I explain that it comes from the scents. they just ignore me..Not much I can do unless I find another job, but I will certainly tag them on Facebook with this article.. Thanks

  55. What alovely informative article.
    i suffer badly from artificial fragrances but seems like that people are like sheep….follow others.
    i get headaches and asthma attacks because of other people,s perfume which they think is wonderful.
    i will share your article to bring awareness.
    thankyou so much.

  56. I didn’t know any of this stuff. I did know the little plug in things made me sick, but just thought I was weird. I have grown Rosemary for several years and hang sprigs in my kitchen as an air freshener. Is that OK?

  57. We just bought a home that the previous owners used wax burners for scent. We have aired it out for weeks, left out sliced onion, coffee grounds, bowls of vinegar, washed the walls and floors with mixture of all natural dish soap, peroxide and water (flooring is All tile), changed filters, air purifiers and fans running and even wiped cabinets down with water soaked with onion but the smell is just as strong as soon as you open the door to the house. Previous owners have stated they used nothing but scensty wax burners and candles. Nothing in a/c or painted on walls. We have yet to move in because I have chemical sensitivities and am nervous. Not sure what else to do to fix it. If we sell we will lose money. My question is how long can these smells last and how long are they toxic for us to breathe? As long as we can smell them? Don’t want to paint and add more chemicals even if zero VOC paint.

  58. Essential oils give me a headache and vertigo almost instantly.
    I wish people wouldn’t bathe in essential oils I work in a gym and all of the yoga participants seem to think that they need to bathe in essential oils before they come to class. I also am finding more more people with the same problem and they don’t realize that they’re actually making them self ill by wearing the oils. I am a kinesiologist so I do muscle testing as well as body work and I’m finding that many of the oils are shutting down the nervous system.

  59. Recently had my car detailed, leaving a detergent smell throughout – carpet, seats, headliner. How to get rid of it?

  60. Thank you for this article. I posted it on Facebook. Hopefully it will be read. I have allergies from fragrances and chemicals. It’s really bad at my job now because two people use smelly laundry products. Between that and the perfume from others, some days I feel so bad l go out and cry. I get muscle aches, headaches, and sometimes get really itchy. I also get very emotional, which ranges from depression and crying to feeling angry. Sometimes I feel like I can’t think straight. And believe it or not I work in a health facility, so on top of all that,I have to deal with cleaners and deodorizers. I really don’t get any I guess you can say compassion. Sorry so long. Thanks for listening. Oh and theres also cigarette smoke

  61. We took our Grandson to the children’s hospital in Little Rock for asthat issues. In the bathrooms guess what was hanging on the walls? Those automatic air fresheners that squirter every little bit. Even I started coughing. We complained at check in, for what ever good it did.

  62. I live in a retirement community…where many folks either smoke or have previously. Those are the folks who seem to “marinate” in a personal fragrance…Ugh!

    I’ve had the thought that their noses can not tell how much fragrance has been applied. 🙁

  63. “Instead of being medicinal, today’s fragranced products are associated with diabetes, obesity, autism, ADD/ADHD and hormone disruption.”
    –or ASTHMA?!! Some can have life threatening episodes from these!!

  64. It would be good if you could please update this article with the recognition that some essential oils *may* cause male people to grow breasts! So this, too, can be an endocrine-disruptor! I worry particularly about your readers who enjoy lavender fragrance and use essential oils in ways which could affect the boys and men in their homes.’ “Many of the chemicals tested appear in at least 65 other essential oils, which is of concern, he added.”

    The reason I say *may* is that these were tested in cancer cells, not in regular human cells, and at concentrations that humans may or may not encounter in our own usages. So this is all uncertain, but caution may be warranted at this time. C

  65. Thank you for this article…I pray millions of people read it and “unplug” themselves from the dangerous causes of their ill health. There is something called sick house syndrome…it is ALL OF THE toxic synthetic chemicals in the products you mentioned combining together and circulating through your home’s!!

    Think about it…add it up….we don’t leave our bathroom each morning without exposing our body to at least 80 chemicals…soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, body sprays, body scuba, facial stubs, facial cleansers, exfoliating, body oils….(those are must n the shower!) Then we wrap our wet body in a chemical laden towel filled with fragrances from the laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets smells. Deodorants are applied to our concentrated lymph node area! We apply hair products like gels, shine, mousse, hold, frizz gamers, curl holders….we brush our teeth with chemicals, gargle with pretty colored poisonous mouthwash, tone our face, moisturizer, masks, scrums, eye creams, all with synthetic filled man made chemicals….and we haven’t even begun to apply makeup….foundation, eye creams, shadows, brow pastes, blush, high lighters, browsers, lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss…all filled with mica, bismuth, phthalates, fake fragrances, artificial colors, etc. One last look, and we need our signature perfume….and now we are ready to leave the bathroom!! I have lost count! But wait….add the chemicals in our foods and our cleaning products! Do you wonder why the population is so sick???

    9 years ago we discovered a YOUNG LIVING Essential Oils! I have visited one of their many farms and experienced their high standard of Seed to Seal Promise with my own eyes. I would love to share with anyone and everyday about the wonderful benefits your body will responds to when it is given 100% Pure, unadulterated, non solvent extracted, non boiled, no fillers, no synthetic additives of the Young Living Essential Oils.

    God created the plants and trees and all vegitation, BEFORE He ever created Man!! It was for multiple purposes..I believe for our .health and wellness!! When we put these pure Young Living Essential Oils into our body, they give our body what it needs to heal ITSELF!

    Find me on FB if you want to talk more about how you can Ditch and Switch to healthier oil infused products!

  66. There is something called Black Soot Deposition when burning candles – is this with any type of candle, beezwax or otherwise?
    https://rainbowintl.com/blog/black-soot-deposition-the-sinister-side-of-scented-candles
    I would think a better option would be a good quality diffuser with 100% pure therapeutic essential oils – with no fillers – would be the best option for purifying your home as well as gaining the benefits of whatever essential oil you are diffusing.

  67. The worst is when you are a “captive” on an airplane for hours next to someone who is over-fragranced. Hopefully, this movement will spread to education of the flying public, as well. Thanks for the information and spreading the word.

  68. I was concerned last night to see that people are starting to use essential oils on dogs the world has gone a wee bit crazy they are not safe for everyone and they are not meant to be used daily I don’t think.

  69. I appreciated this article as I like to learn about being more healthy. I do not use any of these chemical synthetic fragranced items but I do however buy good quality perfume…would this too be a problem as I can not see myself not wearing perfume? What would you suggest?

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  73. People will be people. Basically, if they like something, they don’t care if it causes a problem for someone else. I don’t think there’s a solution until people start dying in front of them. Even then, I’m not sure it would make a difference. A little discomfort, or causing someone else’s allergies, or respiratory problems – is not a problem to most people. They will just tell you to leave. I love living in a free society, but some things need to be regulated. It took non-smokers years to gain the attention of regulators. I hope this problem doesn’t take this long.

  74. My wife has insisted on using these plug ins against my wishes for years. There is at least one in every room. I can usually smell them a few steps away from the front door. It’s so bad, the fragrance clings to our clothes. It’s very noticeable on a hot day. I frequently travel for business and the first thing I do is run everything through the washer a couple of times. Can’t do anything for the luggage, that stank is there for life. When we travel she notices the smell but blames it on the luggage. It always starts a fight when I suggest it could be her continued over use of those damn air fresheners…

  75. Last year December I was told I had mild emphysema-Copd. I was shocked, I had only had minor breathing problems at times. However I had smoked for 17 years when I was very young and had quit over 38 years ago, when I developed asthma. I always heard your lungs were cleared 5 years after you quit smoking, but they don’t tell you the damage is already done! Mild is not mild, I am on oxygen all the time.my son purchased herbal remedy for emphysema from solution health herbal clinic ,which i used for 6 weeks and am totally Emphysema free ,all thanks to solution health herbal clinic, solution health herbal clinic also cure all type of disease in humans life..please Stop smoking! It will kill you. Contact solution health herbal clinic details E-mail: (solutionsherbalclinic@gmail.com)

  76. Нi, Steve here att Bridges.
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  77. Does anybody know if burning incense (idk if I spelled that correctly) has the same types of adverse effects on people/animals?

  78. Hi there,
    I am wondering if I can add a few drops of organic essential oils to my Branch Basic formula for a slight fragrance? I don’t desire it in my own home, however, I am a professional cleaner and many of my clients prefer their homes to “smell clean.”

    1. Hi Laura.

      Absolutely! Essential oils can be added to your bottles and it will not impact how the product works. Enjoy and happy cleaning!

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  80. What is the smells in Dillard’s Dept Stores, The Dollar Stores and KMart ? More and more store have this horrible odor. Everything comes home stinking of this odor. A cleaning fluid or air freshener. It’s horrible. I can not shop at theses stores and more and more stores have theses horrible smells.

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