Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chemicals in Fragrances: Some Secrets Revealed

In a recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), it was revealed that many fragrances and beauty products marketed to adolescents contain chemicals that have the potential to trigger hormone imbalances and other physiological problems in consumers who use them.

Due to loopholes in certain federal regulations, companies who market cosmetic products can hide the presence of certain chemicals in their products as a way to protect "trade secrets". Consequently, adolescents who use products marketed by Halle Barry, Giorgio Armani, American Eagle, Quicksilver, and Jennifer Lopez---among others---are exposed to unregulated chemicals that have been potentially linked to hormone disruption, allergic reactions, and even sperm damage.

While the fragrance industry has been charged by the government to "police itself", numerous chemicals identified in the study have never been studied in terms of their safety, and our children are consistently exposed to these toxic products on a daily basis, either through their skin or respiratory systems.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of consumer groups that is lobbying Congress for legislation to protect consumers from hidden chemicals that may be deleterious to the health of those who use them. To sign a petition asking the makers of so-called "celebrity fragrances" to remove chemicals from their products that are linked to cancer, reproductive problems and allergic reactions, please click here.

A public relations campaign launched by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics---"Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrances"---urges consumers to purchase fragrance-free cosmetics, use fragrances as infrequently as possible, sign a petition to Congress, sign the petition to the makers of such celebrity products, and "support companies who fully disclose ingredients in their products."

The very health and well-being of our children is at stake when the producers of fragrances and cosmetics can create products that contain dangerous chemicals with serious side effects without ever having to disclose the presence of those chemicals to consumers. Federal regulations should protect consumers from such dangers, but studies like the one recently conducted by EWG demonstrate clearly that the feds are simply not protecting us and would rather protect "trade secrets" that undermine our health and protect manufacturers' profits instead.

Those of us with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) have been saying for years that chemical fragrances are dangerous. Now there are more and more reputable scientific studies supporting what we have know for years. Manufacturers of chemical fragrances are now on notice, and it is up to us to hold them accountable for the ways in which they are compromising our health and taking advantage of consumer ignorance and governmental apathy.
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