Perfume – Unregulated…

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Perfume is an unregulated industry!

perfume from provence com







I have had problems with MCS [multiple chemical sensitivity] & have a severe allergic reaction to some perfumes, after shaves, air fresheners & laundry/ & cleaning products so I was particularly motivated to investigate this.

One problem for big perfume brands is that their label sells a dream which is incompatible with the message “this product may cause allergies

 “Manufacturers are not required to disclose any ingredients in cleaning supplies, air fresheners or laundry products, all of which are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Neither these nor personal care products, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, are required to list ingredients used in fragrances, even though a single ‘fragrance’ in a product can be a mixture of up to several hundred ingredients”. Source Science Daily

The Cancer Prevention Coalition has previously warned that consumers are being exposed to fragrance ingredients that may cause cancer or foetal, hormonal or reproductive problems. But these fragrance ingredients are still unregulated – they don’t even need to be listed on the label.

The ramifications of this lack of regulation are fairly obvious.  According to Science Daily, about 20 percent of Americans suffer adverse health effects from air fresheners, for example. Sensitivity to perfumes and other kinds of fragrances is a very common problem.

Perfumes and fragrances are the single largest category of cosmetic and personal care products,especially products used on your hair, face, and eyes.

Fragrances are also extensively used in a wide range of household cleaning products.

This latest study analyzed 25 commonly used, scented products, including:

  • Air fresheners (oils, sprays and solids)
  • Laundry products (detergent, fabric softeners, dryer sheets)
  • Personal care products (soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions, deodorants, shampoos)
  • Cleaning products (disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners, dish detergents)

About half of the products claimed to be green, organic, or natural.

Amazingly, the products tested emitted an average of 17 chemicals EACH, but only ONE compound was actually listed on the label.

Information from the European Commission can be read here  “The labelling rules in the Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC stipulated that perfume and aromatic compositions and their raw materials shall be referred to by the word “perfume” or “aroma”, rather than being labelled individually”… why? how did they get that through?

Interesting article about how the manufacturers are fighting their corner & responding to new EU regulations:

more reading:

It is beyond comprehension that perfume manufacturers are a class apart.  Why are they free to concoct what they please & inflict it on the trusting public.  It does look as if the EU are waking up but not the US.  I expect it will take years & years for any great amendments to be made.

Maybe before you spray yourself in a cloud of glamour you will also think of the castrated beaver [see earlier post]

Pretty grim situation… what do you think?  Have you been affected?  Do let me know…

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  1. Great information and good timing, Susie. I’ve been struggling with an allergy for the last two days and am trying to see what could have caused it. Will have to consider perfume too.

  2. All great info to consider when buying products! For home cleaning white vinegar is my best friend! Come to think of it, I even use it on my hair.

    • Susie says:

      Have you tried ACV for your hair? It’s really great as a rinse & gets rid of itchy scalp conditions too… [apple cider vinegar]

  3. Interesting reading. Some perfumes definitely irritate my skin. I’ve been opting for natural creams lately that smell nice instead.

  4. Sarah says:

    I ditched hair dye, switched to organic shampoo, body cream, body wash, soap and ditched perfume as well.

    I now make my own perfume in 3 minutes using JoJobo oil and an organic essence. (Orange and Jasmine are lovely!)

    I have organic cleaning products. Hubs reckons they don’t work as well so we’re still working on that one. 😉

  5. Nicole says:

    I had no idea the perfume industry was so unregulated – or household items. Good thing to keep in mind. In my previous job, we used to sell products from an American brand called The Laundress which were lovely. Might be worth a try.

    • Susie says:

      They are certainly making a big effort & I can see they will be a big hit with some…however I would like a fragrance free version as there are many essentials oils I am allergic to – also they don’t say whether these are floral or synthetic. Thanks Nicole for bringing it to my attention 🙂

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