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Do hidden ingredients in perfumes pose a health risk?


With each spray of perfume or cologne you could be exposing yourself to chemicals that may increase your risk for certain health problems, according to a report released today from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

In the study (.pdf), laboratory tests found 38 unlisted chemicals in 17 popular fragrance products. The products contained an average of 10 chemical sensitizers, which can trigger asthma, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis, and four chemicals described as potentially hormone-disrupting.

As of this writing, manufactures are not legally required to list ingredients used to create a product's fragrance. In light of the report's findings, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is urging Congress to revise the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973 to require all ingredients in personal fragrance products be listed.

Chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council John Bailey denounced the report in a prepared statement:

The validity of the report is seriously undermined by its failure to include quantitative measurements of the "secret" ingredients it purported to find. Such measurements are a fundamental element of toxicological risk assessments. Without them, it is impossible to make valid judgments about potential risks.

Photo by annieo76

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