I first read about Dr Martin Pall from CatherineWO at Breathez. Dr Pall is Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University. His research has shed new light on the causation of MCS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His research also applies to Gulf War Syndrome which he says has been shown to be a combination of the four.
I recently received an email from Richard Pressinger. He sent me a link to his web site – Chem-Tox.com. He also pointed me to a section on Perfume and Fragrance Exposure During Pregnancy and Learning Disability Research Web Site.
This is all very interesting to me because it supports my own hypothesis that the chemical pollution in our environment is severely impacting the future of our country. I wonder what else we’ll find before we decide to stop their use?
I wanted to call attention to the comments left by Tess on the Welcome Page. She’s dealing w/ asthma caused by fragrances and is in need of help and moral support. If you have any advice or words of encouragement for her, why not leave a comment there. I believe she subscribed to comments on that page and so will be notified of your comment.
Yes, the Golden Rule applies here: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
If you had an allergy or other condition that was worsened in the presence of some substance, you would want to avoid it. And it should be reasonable to ask friends, family and co-workers to help by not using it in your presence. Yet it seems that when it comes to fragrance, the Golden Rule goes out the window. Honestly, I’ve had friends, family and co-workers that thought that I just didn’t *like* fragrance. So it was really OK to wear them in my presence. Which is baffling. People so often equate an allergy with dislike, which isn’t what it’s about. If it were something I just didn’t like, I would endure it. But there are serious health issues for those sensitive to perfume.
I see a lot of talk on the web about this. As well as hear a lot of different comments. Some comments are about the fact that a product has an odor of any kind.
So, what do I mean by Fragrance Free?
It’s the addition of artificial fragrance that I mean when I talk about fragrance added to anything. You can call it “fragrance”, “masking fragrance”, “perfume” or even “parfum” (for that French feel). They are all the same. A bunch of chemicals that likely haven’t been tested on humans. Probably some have, but the fragrance industry doesn’t what to tell you about that. So they hide behind their “trade secret” claim.
You have to be careful when shopping. It isn’t enough that the front of the label says “Unscented” or “Fragrance Free”. There’s no FDA regulation about this. Or any regulation anywhere. If it’s a personal care product (shampoo, lotion, makeup, etc), then turn it over and read the ingredients. I know it’s more work, but if you’re sensitive, it’s necessary. Read the whole list. Fragrances are usually listed near the end, but don’t rely on that. I even read the ingredients when the front says “No Added Fragrance”. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, you can’t be too careful.
And if it’s a household product, it’s trickier. There’s no regulation that requires them to even list their ingredients. Sometimes it can be trial and error. Here are some clues: If it says “Fresh Clean Scent” or “Ocean Fresh Scent” or anything else that implies a certain scent, then don’t buy it. It has fragrance of some sort in it. Some products say “No Added Fragrance”. I trust these cautiously. Your best bet (although nearly impossible to follow 100%) is to only buy household products that list their ingredients.
And yes, a fragrance free product is likely to still have a ‘odor’ to it. Some chemicals have an odor. So you’ll still be able to smell something. Some people find the chemical odors objectionable. Which is why you often see “masking fragrance” in your ingredient list. To me, a masking fragrance is as bad (or even worse) than other added fragrances. I say worse because it can fool you without that fragrancy smell to it.
If you still want a product with a nice smell, consider purchasing a bit of an essential oil and adding it to your products. Don’t add a lot, a little goes a long way. And some of your ‘greener’ products have essential oils added. I’ve become so sensitive to odors that I stay away from these too. But you might want to give them a try.
I found a link recently to the Household Products Database. Created by the National Library of Medicine, it provides health & safety information on household products.
You can look up information by product or ingredient. For example, enter Fragrance in the ingredients search and you get this long list. I didn’t read the entire list, but I did look through it.
I learned some interesting things. For example, did you know you could buy Cologne for your pet??? I knew that if you took a pet to be groomed that they put stinky stuff on them. But worse – Crest Toothpaste is on the list as containing fragrance??!? What in the world? Why? Oh, sorry, probably cannot apply logic to this… 😕
I receive emails via my other web site, Fragrance Free World, as well as from visitors to this site. I thought I would post some comments from a recently received email:
If exposed for more than 15-20 minutes can be under the weather, unable to sleep and depressed for 3-4 days thereafter
Air frsheners or fabric conditioners cause chest to tighten and breathing difficult
Sometimes feel that am tasting soap in my mouth and throat for hours afterwards
Have made my home free of chemicals and am well as long as I can avoid contact with V.O.C’s
Have followed development of REACH in the European parliament an am disappointed to see that 7 – 10 years will pass before chemical manufacturers need o show awareness and stringen safety controls so would just like to hear that someone out there is creating a greater awareness…..
I had not heard of REACH before so I thought I would do a bit of research.
Firstly, REACH is an acronym for : Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals. This is a law that went into effect in Europe on June 1, 2007. The overall goal appears to be to protect human health and the environment from toxic chemicals. Prior to this law, chemicals that were in use prior to 1981 were sort of ‘grandfathered’ – i.e. they were not subject to the same regulations as newer chemicals. You can read more about REACH on this web site. While it is true that industry has up to 11 (eleven!) years to comply, it is encouraging to know that more is being done about this issue.
The poor people that come up with these things. If they only knew that the fragrances have affected their brains to the point that they come up with CRAZY products. Just what the world needs is a fan that spews fragrance.
This came from an email ad sent out by my least favorite kitchen, bath and bedroom shop. The one that goes BEYOND the necessary in stinking up their store with fragrances. The fragrance fan is from that “Non-Rebel” candle company and is touted as “Flame-free fragrance!”
(No, no, I don’t get email ads from that company. I have spies. )