Fragrances are now used in almost every cleaning, laundry, and personal-care product on the market. Since people have been using perfumes for hundreds of years. It's reasonable to wonder why the problem of using scents has surfaced only recently.

Until the 20th century, perfumes were made from natural ingredients derived directly from plants and animals, and as fragrances became cheaper and more widespread, they also became more synthetic.

The National Academy of Sciences reports that 95% of the chemicals used in fragrances today are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum, including known toxins capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.

We have been brainwashed by the industry to feel we must cover up our natural scents with toxic chemicals. Many of the same chemicals in perfumes are the same chemicals that are in cigarette smoke.

You would think the government would protect people by attempting to regulate the industries that are causing harm; however, the cosmetic industry is self regulated and isn't required to give formulations, test results, safety data or consumer complaints to the FDA.

When you use perfume or cologne, remember you are using powerful chemicals regulated solely by the industry that sells them. Just because they don't affect you now doesn't mean they won't affect someone in line next to you (giving them a migraine or sinus problems), or that you will always be immune to their effects. These chemicals go directly into the blood stream when applied to our skin, and are also absorbed into the skin from our clothing.

We also inhale these chemical fumes that go straight to our brains where they can do major harm, and many of these chemical fumes have a "narcotic" effect. ("Smelling Good But Feeling Bad, Synthetic Perfumes, Colognes and Scents Are Turning Up Noses," Green Living Your Health, and "The Health Risks of Perfume and Other Scented Products," - March 2002} Author's comment: These effects from scents can surface days after the exposure, and many people do not connect the strong perfume/cologne smell on the lady or gentleman next to them at the opera to their headache or upset stomach days later.

One of the big toxic offenders is perfume and other scented products. Did you know that many of the ingredients in your perfume are the exact same ingredients found in gasoline???!! The scary thing is that the perfume industry is not regulated at all, and they can put any number of chemicals in fragrance without revealing what those chemicals are, and how they affect humans. We humans are all participating in a giant "lab" experiment against our knowledge and against our will, and it is making some of us very sick.
{"Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - Environmental Illness," - April 2002}

Fragrance-free policies are beginning to take hold in work places across the United States and Canada. Here are just a few examples:

Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, asked its employees and students to refrain voluntarily from wearing scented products.

The entire Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia has a "scent-awareness" program that urges the use of unscented products only.

Alacrity Ventures, a Berkeley, California-based venture-capital firm, not only encourages its employees to go fragrance-free but also uses only unscented janitorial products.

Many businesses, at the request of their employees, are voluntarily creating fragrance-free policies, says Tracie Saab, a consultant with the "Job Accommodation Network," a Morgantown, West Virginia group that educates disabled workers and their employers. These policies are applauded by people with asthma, allergies, and the controversial disorder called multiple chemical sensitivity, in which even low levels of exposure to chemicals (from pesticides to perfumes) can trigger headaches, fatigue and other symptoms. "It is easier for businesses to enact these policies than to risk legal action somewhere down the line," says Saab.
{"Stink-Free Office Mates," Natural Health, Nov./Dec. 2000}

Many migraineurs are so sensitive to fragrance that people wearing perfumes and colognes around them trigger an immediate and severe migraine attack. You can make your house a fragrance-free zone, and if you have a visitor who is either not aware of this or forgets, most of the fragrance can be removed with alcohol wipes if it has been put on the skin and not the clothing.
{"Fragrance Triggers," Teri Roberts: Beating Headaches, on Headaches/Migraines on - Dec. 2001}

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