Environment perfume

Published on September 29th, 2012 | by No Artificial

The Hidden Hazards of Fragrance Ingredients


The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that many common perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain lots of potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum.

In 2012, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group commissioned laboratory analysis of 17 big-selling fragrance products.Those tests showed the products together contained 38 secret chemicals.

Leading the list with the most anonymous ingredients is American Eagle Seventy Seven with 24. Chanel Coco has 18, and Britney Spears Curious and Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio have 17, according to the report.

“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label,” reports EWG. “Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”

EWG claims that some of the undisclosed fragrance ingredients are chemicals “with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues.” Examples include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies, and musk ketone, which concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk.

To protect industry’s most closely guarded secrets, perfume makers are allowed to withhold fragrance ingredients, so buyers can’t rely on labels to know what hazards may hide inside the bottle of perfume.

It is legal under the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973. Although that law requires producers to list cosmetics ingredients on product labels, it clearly exempts requiring breaking out the specific components of a perfume or cologne. When consumers read the ingredients of those products, they find only the generic category of “fragrances.”

For more information, check out EWG’s May 2010 “Not So Sexy” report

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