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Toxic Scents: What Is It That Product Labels Don’t Say?

Updated on August 22, 2012
Something Smells Fishy
Something Smells Fishy | Source

Making Sense Of Scents

• Who would expect that the very fragrances designed to give us a sense of well-being and contentment could be scents that undermine our health?

• Who knew that what our noses enjoy might play havoc with our mental and/or physical condition?

• Who could have guessed that there is real and present danger in so many of the lovely smelling products that are available in today's culture of scents?

• Who knew how important it would be for us to check out the facts on everyday scents that may be truly toxic?

Protecting Our Families From Scented Chemicals

In doing research for my hubs about making homemade laundry detergent and homemade fabric softener I became more aware of the dangers we face in our culture because of fragrances. It was amazing to learn how the definition of fragrance has drastically changed.

Aromatic orange blossoms, flowers, and fruits were good stuff from my childhood. Fresh air--ocean air, freshwater lake air, spring water air--all that was a natural a way of life for me. As technology evolved and I was able to regain some of those fragrances via product packaging I had no idea how deceptive the word fragrance had become.

Now, I knew full well that companies were not running out to citrus trees bottling lemon, orange, and grapefruit blossom air to make room fresheners or perfumes out of it, but to get a whiff of what they are doing is not a pleasant discovery. It’s rather scary, in fact. Sort of like the stuff out of a fright house.

Agencies, doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs, and more are all sounding an alarm against the chemicals in perfumes, air deodorizers, soaps, detergents, and cleaning products that are used in households every day.

Reading that the word fragrance hides a multitude of other words that spell danger has distracted me from other writing that I wanted to do. I needed to get this out of the way for my own peace of mind. I could expound on the information I’ve read but I would still include the following sites and videos, so here you go:

An excellent article on this issue by Katie Falloon provides information from recent studies.

Sites like this one provide guidelines for determining which products are preferable according to green theme standards. This type of site will be helpful to those battling allergies to personal and household products or who are concerned about their safety.

Checking out sites like this one and this one can provide you with information for toxic free living. Sites explaining the definitions of some everyday product labels include information from states’ cooperative extension services.

Some businesses are beginning to develop rating systems for personal and household products, and the ones that are leading the effort will be quickly followed by the rest. I'm guessing that markets, grocery stores, and even quick-stops will be providing easy access to charts and guidelines to help us make the best choices for our needs.

You'll be looking for particular phrases such as "petrolium free" and "phthalate if you want something with fragrance, but the safest route is to find "fragrance free" products. Thankfully, it's getting easier to find labels with those words on them. This is helping--big companies are beginning to pay attention.

Dr. Gilbere on Synthetic Fragrances

Learn To Think Outside The Beautiful Boxes That Our Scented Products Come In!

You know that there is a lot of information available. You didn’t really need me to explain that. This hub is designed to help you get started on your path to using less toxic products, and/or using the stronger products as carefully as possible.

Am I going to give up my bleach? Not totally, but I am glad for more information on using it wisely and safely, and most especially I'm glad to learn how I can use less of it.

When you begin translating the mysteries of today's use of the word fragrance so you can get a grasp of the interpretations, like me, you’ll begin thinking outside the box to find out how to bring those wonderful fresh and fruity, snappy happy, alluringly exorbitant, obsessively sporty, colorfully exotic aromas back into your life.

And, in all of this, there's icing on the cake for me--no more giving my greenbacks to companies that charge astounding prices for scented products and then use my finances to support causes and programs with agendas that make me stress shed like my cat at the vet. Makes me smile!

Overview on Fragrance

Air Fresheners with Natural Fragrances


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Submit a Comment
  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks very kindly. So appreciate your input!

  • thougtforce profile image

    Christina Lornemark 

    7 years ago from Sweden

    A very useful article and it also needed! We need to help eachother in this djungle of chemicals and toxins! Very well done. Rated up! Tina

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks much for stopping in and commenting. We need to continue learning, don't we?

  • Eileen Hughes profile image

    Eileen Hughes 

    7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

    Great article and all the governments all over the world have a lot to answer for. They are all contributing to our early deaths by allowing people to use harmful chemicals.

    Like you say, if we knew the dangers A(by labels) then we could choose what and what not to use. This is a hot topic of mine. Thanks for the great hub

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from the short journey

    Thank you for coming by, anidee. Your comment is right on target!

  • anidae profile image

    Anita Adams 

    7 years ago from Tennessee

    You are right on target in this article. There are hidden dangers in so many products today. Thanks for your research.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from the short journey

    Now I have to say Wow. I have had suspicions about fire retardants as well as sun screens, and the truth is coming out. Don't you just want to get on a soapbox about using common sense?!

    Thanks so much for leaving your input!

  • Chatkath profile image


    7 years ago from California

    Wow, RT I know what a concern this is, I worked bedding store doing marketing a while back and I had no idea what was contained in the fire proofing used on all bedding, furniture etc. now. More dangerous than the fire itself!

    Thanks for sharing!


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