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Rodrigo Louvat
I am a Marketing Associate at Tera in charge of digital marketing and content creation, writing blog articles and newsletters. Drop me a line at rodrigo.louvat@hellotera.com if you feel like it!

Are Fragrances Dangerous?: Health Risks and How to Stay Safe

Stock photo of perfume being sprayed

What are fragrances, and why should we be concerned?

Fragrance, or parfum, is a term used to describe a blend of various chemicals that create a particular scent in perfumes, colognes, body sprays, and other scented products. While some fragrances may contain natural essences, it’s essential to recognize that many also contain potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals [1]. The alarming fact is that fragrance manufacturers are not required to disclose the specific ingredients due to trade secret protection. This lack of transparency puts consumers at a disadvantage, as they are unable to make fully informed choices about the products they use.

What's in your fragrances infographic

Navigating Fragrances: Safer Alternatives

  1. Allergies and Sensitivities: Fragrances are known to trigger allergic reactions, including skin irritations, rashes, and respiratory problems. Many individuals unknowingly suffer from fragrance sensitivities, experiencing discomfort and distress when exposed to scented products.
  2. Endocrine Disruption: Certain chemicals found in fragrances have been linked to endocrine disruption, interfering with our hormone systems. This disruption can have far-reaching effects on our overall health, potentially leading to reproductive issues, developmental disorders, and even certain cancers.
  3. Asthma and Respiratory Issues: Fragrances, especially synthetic ones, can aggravate asthma symptoms and contribute to respiratory problems. The volatile compounds in fragrances can irritate the airways, triggering breathing difficulties and discomfort for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions.
  4. Environmental Impact: The use of synthetic fragrances has a significant environmental footprint. Chemicals from fragranced products can find their way into water bodies, potentially harming aquatic life and disrupting ecosystems. Additionally, the production of synthetic fragrances often involves non-renewable resources and generates pollution.
Diseases fragrances can cause infographic

The Hidden Hazards: Health Concerns

  1. Choose Unscented or Fragrance-Free: Opt for unscented or fragrance-free products whenever possible. These products are formulated without the addition of synthetic fragrances, reducing the risk of adverse health effects.
  2. Look for Natural Fragrance Sources: Some companies use natural sources, such as essential oils, to create fragrances. Look for products that clearly specify natural fragrance ingredients, ensuring you’re exposed to fewer synthetic chemicals.
  3. Read the Ingredient Label: Familiarize yourself with the ingredient list on product labels. If “fragrance” or “parfum” is listed, it is likely a synthetic fragrance blend. Consider contacting the manufacturer for more information or explore alternatives with transparent ingredient disclosure.
  4. Choose Trusted Brands: Seek out brands that prioritize consumer safety and disclose their fragrance ingredients. Look for certifications such as the “Safer Choice label” or proudly advertise that they are fragrance-free or disclose the complete contents of the product’s fragrance
Fragrance-free certified logo

Together, We Can Make a  Difference

By educating ourselves and making informed choices, we can collectively drive change in the industry and protect our health and the environment. Share this knowledge with your friends and family, and encourage them to join us on this journey toward safer, fragrance-free alternatives.

Remember, knowledge is power, and by questioning the fragrances we encounter, we take a significant step toward creating a healthier and more sustainable future.

Stay informed, stay empowered!

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