Dangerous Chemicals Found in Perfumes and Colognes

Multiple public health campaigns and messages have fueled the recent movement of getting people in the habit of reading food labels and ingredients. What about cosmetics? Some products that people use on their bodies everyday contain some of the most toxic chemicals, yet labeling is absent from packaging. Petrochemicals are most abundant in perfumes and colognes. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Environmental Working Group found that the average fragrance product tested contained 14 different chemicals. Of the ones they tested, American Eagle Seventy Seven blew all fragrances out of the water, containing 24 petrochemicals. This astonishing number raised many questions about how it is even possible for companies to use these chemicals in their products and get away with it. Companies are not required to disclose secret chemicals to buyers due to a loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which exempts fragrance from the list of products for which cosmetic companies must list labeling and ingredients. If that was not bad enough, another major downside is that the FDA does not have the authority to mandate manufacturers to disclose of chemicals in fragrances. This means that the products people use everyday like perfumes, lotions, and aftershave will continue to go unlabeled and expose them to harmful chemicals. To make matters even worse, some of these ingredients are linked to cancer and birth defects. The best thing to do to avoid overexposure of these chemicals is to remember that less is more. Choosing products with no added fragrance will also reduce exposure to toxic chemicals because the synthetic ingredients manufacturers use to imitate an actual scent are root of the harm.