Perfume and Cologne, More Dangerous Than You Thought
Did you know colognes and perfumes can be dangerous?
I’d be willing to bet you didn’t, as I’m guessing for almost all of you reading this, the deepest your thoughts go on cologne and perfume centers around what you like and don’t like. And asking, “Why does it have to be so expensive?”
By the time you’re done reading this, I’d be surprised if you’re not rethinking these cosmetics altogether.
This is because many colognes and perfumes are hazardous to your health.
I’m not going to overstate the case and make it appear they’re as bad as huffing glue...but if you want to decrease your chances of developing cancer, keep your brain in tip-top shape, and avoid toxic levels of dangerous chemicals building up in your body, you may want to read this.
A quick note: when I speak of perfumes and colognes, I’m not always referencing the expensive kinds you pick up in Nordstroms.
In many cases, “perfume” is another way of saying “scented.”
These perfumes are found in soaps, shampoos, floor cleaners, and more.
4 Dangerous Substances
Found In Common Perfumes
- Esters: You may not know what Esters are but they’re all around us and many people believe they are safe and natural. The problem with esters is many people don’t know how dangerous they can be. This is because the definition of an ester makes it seem like they’re not that problematic. An ester is simply an organic acid substance that interacts with an alcohol. These esters are compounds that help transport smells.
In some instances, esters aren’t a big deal. Take, for example, when they’re used in things like essential oils.
But in many instances, the byproducts of these esters carry harmful toxins with them, or are toxic themselves.
Let me show you a few of these problematic esters.
-Acetone: Many of you know acetone for its use in nail polish remover. It’s also found in many colognes, detergents, and other household cosmetics. The problem with acetone is that it is harmful to the central nervous system.
Studies have found acetone depresses the central nervous system so it doesn’t function properly. In some instances, exposure to acetone will result in serious medical conditions. Some of the most serious of these involve seizures and even falling into comas. It’s for this reason acetone is on the EPA’s “hazardous waste” list. Makes you wonder why it’s being sold to you in perfumes and colognes, doesn’t it?
-Benzyl Alcohol: If you have a background in botany, you may know benzyl alcohol is naturally occuring and is one of the component compounds that give flowers like jasmine and ylang-ylang their sweet smell.
Decades ago, manufacturers discovered how to synthesize benzyl alcohol. The problem here is this synthetic version has some known risk factors. Just a few of these include increased risk for high blood pressure and respiratory failure. Many people have no idea benzyl alcohol does this. And with it appearing in thousands of domestic products, including detergents, fabric softeners, soaps and more, many unknowingly put themselves at risk by exposing themselves to it daily.
-Methylene Chloride: This substance was banned by the FDA back in 1988 because it’s so dangerous. But it still makes it into products we use because so many of them are made in other countries. Thanks to loopholes in “trade secret” laws, methylene chloride is included in products without us knowing it.
Some of the main places you’ll find methylene chloride are in shampoos and perfumes, substances which you place directly on sensitive areas of skin known to absorb chemicals.
The reason methylene chloride is so bad is because it’s stored in body fat where it’s then metabolized as carbon monoxide. This has several obvious negative effects which include restricting the oxygen transporting ability of your blood which can lead to further health complications including organ failure and cancer.
-Phthalates: Phthalates are often listed on the back of products under the catch-all term “fragrance.” There are numerous independent studies linking phthalates to serious health conditions.
As known endocrine disruptors, phthalates present a very real threat by interfering with how your body’s hormone levels are regulated.
They’re so dangerous, the European Union has banned them in the use of cosmetics, but thanks to lax laws here in the U.S., they continue to appear in commonly sold goods. Some of the ones you’d recognize on the back of a label include DEP, DBP, and DEHP.
Wondering How To Stay Safe
From These Dangerous Chemicals?
If you’re reading over this and getting frustrated because it’s yet another article showing you how “everything is bad,” I understand your frustration.
And while frustration is normal, there are ways to avoid these toxic chemicals.
The first is to read labels. Not all companies use harmful ingredients to help make things smell better.
Labels on soaps, detergents, and other household items usually are pretty explicit about what they contain. This is true even of the bad ones...they’ll just try and mask their problem ingredients with words like “fragrance.” For actual perfumes and colognes it’s a bit harder to determine what’s inside, so your best bet is to go “organic” or “natural” and shop from companies who fully disclose ingredients.
Another thing you can do is put pressure on companies to be honest about what they’re selling.
As Natural News notes, the government has made it easy for companies to get away with selling garbage, while consumers have been a major player in forcing companies to be honest and improve their product line.
As they write:
“Even though government agencies still conveniently have their hands tied when it comes to safety enforcement for the $29 billion a year global perfume industry, self-regulation caused by consumer pressure may be a ray of light on a still rather grim horizon. For the last few years, companies have begun to voluntarily disclose the ingredients of the fragrance compounds in their products. Clorox led the way, with SC Johnson becoming the first multinational corporation to voluntarily disclose back in 2014."
At the end of the day, it’s just up to you do to your homework and realize some of the items you use to make things smell better really aren’t that good for you.
Opt for the fewest ingredients when possible and use products scented with essential oils when possible, too.