Post: Smelling good can be a health hazard. 3 realisations of using fragrances.

Who doesn’t like to smell good or be in a clean, fragrance environment? The very fragrance makes you feel fresh, clean and even lifts your mood. Like many of you, I, too love wearing my fragrance deodorant and perfume every day.

Today, in fact about 95 % of the people across the world love smelling good and experience smelling fragrances daily. At home, workplace, where ever one goes, experiences smelling fragrance by either wearing perfume or cologne oneself, or from someone wearing them. This is not enough, there are even other agents of fragrance like soaps, sprays, deodorants, cleaning agents, scented candles, air fresheners, beauty and personal products and other inhalation exposures.

Do I ever think while wearing my perfume? Do we know how they affect our body? Do these fragrances have a similar effect like the natural fragrance of a flower in the garden?
Many studies have been around about the potential health benefits of fragrances as mood-lifting, stress relief, relaxation, sleep-inducing, pain relief and aromatherapy.

Many products have been listed in the market as natural or organic fragrances with essential oils and natural fragrances. In reality, not just synthetic chemicals but even natural ingredients can carry some amount of health risk if not used under threshold quantity.

Many countries worldwide have strict regulations of using chemicals in perfumes, beauty products and other fragrance products.
Since I have been living in Europe, I have read about the strict regulations of REACH (Registration, evaluation, authorisation and restrictions of chemicals). This is a regulatory body of the European Union which have laid down strict guidelines about the production and uses of chemicals and their potential human impact.

Mostly, all brands, either big or small has to follow the guidelines with clearly mentioning about the chemicals used and it’s quantities on the labels of the products. All chemicals have a threshold quantity for its impact on human which cannot be exceeded.

Yes, it’s true, there are strict regulations. But the point of concern is, aren’t we expose to different fragrances daily? Aren’t we overwhelmed when we step into or pass by a perfume store? Don’t you feel uncomfortable when your fellow passenger or your colleague uses strong perfume? Aren’t we expose to fragrance cleaning agents at home, office, shopping mall or in a public place?

Therefore, it is important to have some kind of realisations which can be caused by these chemicals used as fragrances in different inhalation products.

1.In perfume, some commonly used chemicals like acetaldehyde, ethanol, acetone, benzyl alcohol, methylene chloride, linalool, camphor and a lot more on the list of different brands. Many of these chemicals can cause skin irritations, dizziness, headache, sinusitis, laryngitis, coughing, muscle pain, asthma, increase blood pressure and heartburn. Acetaldehyde is a probable carcinogenic. Some of these chemicals can even worsen migraine. While some of them have found to cause anxiety, mood disorder and depression.

2.Even natural products contain synthetic chemicals. Essential oils can be added with fragrance oil in a particular product which is synthetic. So, it is important to read the labels of contents before buying them. Essential oils like lemon, rosemary, rose, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil do have health benefits. But it is important to know the dosage and threshold level while using them. Ingestions of some of these oils can have a poisonous effect on health.
Rose oil which has been widely used in fragrance products can be detrimental due to its emmenagogue effect causing abnormal bleeding and abortion in pregnant women. B-damascenone found in rose oil can be a strong skin irritant.

Lavender oil which has potential benefits and used in fragrance products can cause skin irritations, flare-up allergic reactions and may cause drug interaction in person who is under medication with antihypertensives, blood-thinning drugs and sedatives.
Eucalyptus oil which contains1,8-cineol can cause drowsiness, toxicity, difficulty in breathing and flare up asthma. Ingestion in vast quantities can cause liver damage.

3.Many types of research are carried out and have been still going on various fragrance products.
The important takeaways from such studies are, by and large, all chemicals have some kind of toxic effects on human. But it is important to buy products where the ingredients are mentioned with their used quantities. Any product with manufacturer keeping a label with some ‘secret ingredient’ is quite scary even if they say it is their ‘trade secret’.

My learning and advice while using fragrance products of all kinds are, moderation is the key and being cautious of the quantity used.

While purchasing any products, reading of the label is an important part. Any product with the manufacturer not listing ingredients should be avoided.

Any health symptoms experienced or skin irritation or allergy while using such products should be stopped immediately and to be checked by your physician.

2 thoughts on “Post: Smelling good can be a health hazard. 3 realisations of using fragrances.

  1. It’s a good article about the health benefits and harmful effects of perfumes or fragrances. The sense of smell is very powerful to affect the mood and thought of working people. Perfumes activate directly the amygdala circuitry of brain, as it lies underneath the uncus of parahippocampal gyrus. We know that uncus contains secondary olfactory cortex which is very sensitive to the smell of perfumes. Thanks for the informative writing

    Liked by 2 people

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