• Daurice Cummings-Bealer

A Fragrance NOT So Sweet

We all love our home, clothes, cars, and everything else to smell good. We carefully choose our household cleaners, detergents, personal products, etc. by scent. Scent is a personal preference and there are so many to choose from. So, what if I asked you what are the ingredients in your products, could you tell me? Would you know if they were safe?

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has over four thousand ingredients disclosed on the transparency list. Many of these ingredients are not safe and yet we use them daily in our products. They cause allergic reactions, respiratory issues, hormone imbalances, and cancer.

So, just check the labels, right? Well, it’s not so easy. On most products the word “fragrance” is all they need to list instead of the specific ingredients that make the fragrance. This is legal due to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) and was to protect the proprietorship of a fragrance.

Okay, so all I have to do is buy fragrance free products, right? Well, not exactly. Fragrance free means they can not contain any artificial fragrances or fragrance masking ingredients. However, they can contain ingredients that impart a fragrance and they can contain ingredients listed by the IFRA as long as the manufacturer claims they are being used for a purpose other than fragrance. Such as listing phthalates as a fixative and not a fragrance ingredient. This allows them to bypass the rules for synthetic fragrances or to list phthalate as an ingredient. Often, a manufacturer will use at least one synthetic ingredient to mask an unpleasant scent in a product.

Here a few key words to look for that manufacturers use when they don’t want to disclose the actual ingredients in a product. (Fragrance, perfume, parfum, aroma, flavor, and even the word unscented.) Sneaky, right?

There are so many reasons to leave synthetic fragrances out of your home and body. They cause so much more harm than they do good. They are responsible for allergies, asthma, cancers, contact dermatitis, depression, migraines, nervous system disorders, respiratory disorders, and vertigo, dizziness, and nausea.

There are too many ingredients to break down for one article that I am currently writing a book on these ingredients and what they do to us. We can not trust companies who profit from us to protect us. We have to be vigilant in doing our own research and learn about safer alternatives. We can use essential oils or choose companies that are truthful and use only natural ingredients. Yes, they exist but you must do your homework. Even when choosing essential oils because there are companies that use synthetic ingredients in their essential oils. We have to do our homework.

There are so many sites that we can use to help us in our research. Here are just a few that I use on a regular basis.








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