START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good

“Fragrances” to Avoid in All Products

“Fragrances” to Avoid in All Products

In products such as perfume, shampoo, fabric softener, bleach, air fresheners, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, soap, hairspray, shaving cream, aftershave, deodorants, nail polish remover, and more, synthetic ingredients are used to create fragrance. Many of these ingredients are toxic and can cause adverse reactions. Look for these ingredients in products containing fragrance and avoid them if you can:

Acetic acid, benzyl ester: Targets nerves and kidneys; possible carcinogen.

Benzyl alcohol: Central nervous system (CNS) depressant.

Diethyl phthalate: Possible risk of congenital malformation in the fetus; targets nerves.

Musk ketone: Increases carcinogenic effects of other materials. Remains stored in blood, fat tissue, and breast milk; crosses placental barrier.

Musk xylene: Carcinogenic in animal studies. Stored in blood, fat tissue, and breast milk; crosses placental barrier.

6-Octen-1-ol, 3,7-dimethyl: Extremely destructive to mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract tissues.

Toluene: Carcinogenic, Targets liver, kidneys, brain, or bladder. One of nine major starting materials for synthesis of fragrance chemicals. Addictive.

4-Vinylphenol: Toxic. May impair fertility. Toxic by inhalation. Respiratory and skin sensitizer.

2,6-Xylenol: Toxic. Harmful by inhalation. Material is extremely destructive to upper respiratory system, eyes, and skin. Corrosive.

Acetone: Inhalation causes dryness of the mouth and throat, dizziness, nausea, incoordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, coma in extreme cases. CNS depressant.

Benzaldehyde: Narcotic. Sensitizer. CNS depressant. May cause kidney damage and irritation to the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, lungs, and GI tract, leading to nausea and abdominal pain. Do not use with contact lenses.

Benzyl Acetate: Carcinogenic. Irritating to eyes and respiratory passages. Causes systemic effects through skin. Do not flush to sewer.

Camphor: Irritant and CNS stimulant. Readily absorbed through body tissues. Irritation of eyes, nose and throat, dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.

Ethanol: EPA hazardous waste. May cause fatigue and irritating to eyes and upper respiratory tract even in low concentrations. Initial stimulatory effect followed by drowsiness, impaired vision, ataxia, stupor. Causes CNS disorder.

Ethyl Acetate: Narcotic. EPA hazardous waste. Irritating to eyes and respiratory tract; headache and narcosis (stupor); skin drying and cracking; anemia with leukocytosis; and damage to liver and kidneys.

Limolene: Carcinogenic. Irritant and sensitizer. Wash thoroughly after using and before eating, drinking, and applying cosmetics. Do not inhale.

Linalool: This narcotic causes respiratory disturbances and CNS disorder and attracts bees. In animal tests, it was found to cause ataxic gait; reduced spontaneous motor activity and depression; respiratory disturbances leading to death; and depressed frog-heart activity.

Methylene Chloride: On hazardous waste lists. Carcinogenic. Stored in body fat; metabolizes to carbon monoxide, reducing blood�s oxygen-carrying capacity. Headache, giddiness, stupor, irritability, fatigue, and tingling in the limbs. Causes CNS disorder.

a-Pinene: Sensitizer. Damaging to the immune system, irritant to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

g-Terpinene: Causes asthma and CNS disorders.

a-Terpineol: Highly irritating to mucous membranes. Aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumonitis or even fatal edema. Excitement, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), hypothermia, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

Read more: General Health, Health, Holistic Beauty, Non-Toxic Cleaning, ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.


+ add your own
6:15AM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

Thank you so much

5:27AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Thank you for the list!

12:52PM PST on Jan 16, 2012

Thank you for the info. These are important things to know. I wish there had been of a list of common product names which contain these things.

1:35PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Before I started my mission of creating a green environment for family to live in, I did not realize how harsh and damaging they, the products people use every day, truly are. I have been green cleaning and naturally freshening my home for at least 7 years (I know.... but better late than never). The "freshness" of many people's homes are very hard on my lungs and create head aches and worse. Bathroom cleaners and deco-candles are the worst!
We have been working diligently on making our home as safe and clean as possible.

4:57AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

@Brenda - they are no banned because they are not considered toxic at the very low concentrations humans are exposed to in cosmetics and fragrances. If you ban substances based only on the hazard, you would have to ban acetaminophen (1 gram can kill you), and water ( if you drink too much, it can kill you - about 10 pints could be enough). The author of this article clearly has little or no understanding of toxicology.

4:50AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

It they are so toxic why aren't they BANNED?

10:24AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

another twenty points for the animals ...

9:37AM PST on Jan 6, 2011

Sorry, but this article is pure scaremongering and shows a complete lack of understanding of the real world. The statements publsihed here are taken directly from the Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS) for these substances. The MSDS is designed SOLELY to provide information to people handling the NEAT substance. This bears very little or no relation to the presence of these ingedients in cosmetics, or other products. This is just nonsense, I'm afraid.

@Jenny S - there NO law that states synthetic is dangerious and natural is safe - this is a total myth. Snake venom? Foxglove(digitalis)?

7:03AM PST on Jan 3, 2011

We need a Movement to create legislation to ban these pollutants, or at least to have them identified on products--including those invasive magazines!

6:37AM PST on Jan 3, 2011

I understand why most of these ingredients made it to the list, but I can't understand why limonene and linalool would be there. Aren't they supposed to come from essential oils?Or is the quantity that counts?

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Many people seem to think that natural medicines are safer than synthetic medications. This is just …

I have doubts about the results of this survey.

Yeah! You and me both Colin H!

I use unsweetened almond milk on my cereal in the morning as an alternative to cow's milk which I ca…

What about goat's milk? Healthier than cow's milk and tastes better, too. I get powered milk onlin…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.