Last month we talked about toxins in cleaning products and how to avoid them. Although having a clean environment is very important for most of us, there is a tendency these days of people worrying also about which chemicals we use when we clean our homes and how dangerous they are for our health.
In this sense, I think it is important to talk about the perfume we find on our household chemicals.
Before 20th century perfumes were made from natural ingredients (e.g. lemon, lavender,…). As soon as fragrances started to spread and popularised they were started to be made of synthetic ingredients to make them more affordable.
Did you know that 95% of the chemicals used to make only one fragrance are synthetic nowadays? They are usually derived from petroleum, including toxins capable of causing health problems, from allergy reactions to cancer.
Perfume can be found in lots of our regular household products, from cosmetics to cleaning products. And many of the ingredients used to create that perfume are harmful to our health. Here are some of the products that you will need to be concerned about:
– Phthalates: These are used in perfumes and air fresheners; they are endocrine disruptors and can cause hormonal abnormalities, thyroid disorders and reproductive problems.
– VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds): These again can be found on perfumes, air fresheners, disinfectants and deodorizers. Common names for these are: propane, ethanol, formaldehyde. These are reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, liver toxins and carcinogens.
The symptoms of exposure to this toxins can include: headache, nausea, asthma or allergy attacks, dizziness and many more.
If you would like to avoid products containing these toxins, the best course of action would be to inform your self. Read your cleaning products’ labels and avoid chemicals with fragrances; a clean home doesn’t need to smell of anything in particular.