Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fragrances, Perfumes, and Cologne Can Be Toxic and Dangerous

11 checked out at hospital after perfume sickens students

Perfume sickens students, bus driver

A 2007 seminar conducted by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) revealed the following facts about fragrances:
= There are 3,000–5,000 chemicals used in fragrances.
= 95% of these chemicals are derived from petroleum.
= The perfume industry is not regulated by any government agency.
= In 1986, the National Academy of Sciences targeted fragrances as one of the six categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing.
= Less than 20% of chemicals used in fragrances have been tested for human toxicity.
= Many chemicals that are known to be toxic are still used in perfume.
= Many of the chemicals in your perfume are also found in gasoline and in cigarette smoke.

And the seminar goes on to confirm:
"Thanks to the trade secret protections, the fragrance industry is one of the least regulated industries in the country.... 84% of these ingredients have not been tested for human toxicity or tested only minimally... and some that fall under "hazardous waste disposal" requirements.... Here are some of the most common chemicals used in fragrance products and the adverse reactions associated with them:

= Acetone, found in cologne, dishwashing liquid, and detergent, acts primarily on the central nervous system. Inhalation can cause dryness of the mouth and throat, dizziness, nausea, and slurred speech.

= Benzaldehyde, found in perfume, cologne, hairspray, lotion, and shampoo, acts as a central nervous system depressant, and causes irritation to the mouth, throat, and eyes. It may cause kidney damage.

= Methylene chloride, found in shampoo, cologne, and paint and varnish remover, decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, resulting in headache, giddiness, stupor, fatigue, and irritability. It is also regarded as a carcinogen."

See for other dangerous chemicals used in fragrances

Students in schools should not be wearing, let alone carrying, perfume in a public place where these toxic ingredients may sicken them and others.  This bus incident only provides further proof of the facts presented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association.  Fragrances can be toxic and dangerous.  Perfume should be banned from schools, as well as the work place.

To verify this information, access the free MNA course.  Go to and click on
"Register". The subscription code for members is mna001, non-Members is mna002, and students is mna003. Fill out all of the fields in the form and press submit. This information is also listed on the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) website at For more information, contact the Division of Health and Safety at 781-830-5723.

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