Unlike the natural scents given us by nature, artificial "fragrance" can contain many petroleum-based toxins.
While chemicals are meant to imitate the scents of nature, their effects on the human body are much more harmful.
A great guide to healthful living and thinking, Dr Chris Baker's book REAL, is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
A safe replacement for many cleaning fluids is pure white vinegar.
On a recent flight, I noticed a strong perfume-y scent that made my throat feel tight and my head ache. I asked the flight attendant if the jet's air circulation system scented the air as it blew through the vents on the plane. He assured me that it did not.
The scent was so strong that I thought he probably did not know and was answering an easy “no.”
Then, Claude thought the scent came from the lady who sat right behind us, who wore a potent amount of cheap perfume. That turned out to be the case. Poor thing - she had no idea what she was doing to us!
When you read a label on a cosmetic or household product, including perfume, lotion, shampoo, laundry detergent, cleaning product or room fresheners, the ingredient, “fragrance” means a synthetic chemical that is potentially LETHAL over time due to its toxicity.
More than 95 percent of these chemicals are made from crude oil. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene, and many other known toxins. These can cause cancer, birth defects, autism, ADHD, (see work by Dr. Philip Landrigan, et al) nervous-system disorders, kidney damage, lupus and other immune illnesses.
These health effects can also include allergic reactions and endocrine disruption which can lead to weight gain, and, even worse, reproductive system cancers including breast, prostate, testicular, ovarian and uterine cancers as well as liver cancer.
There are about 3,000 different chemicals which can be called "fragrance", some of which are on the EPA’s hazardous waste list.
People are being poisoned with fragrance ingredients that go straight into their bloodstreams, and their precious children’s bloodstreams, after they are absorbed from the skin, inhaled into lungs, or eaten and in one's gut.
They make us sick. Really, truly sick, and shorten lives. They also cause short term headaches, respiratory distress, nausea and brain fog.
You know how it works - everything is “worse” for the pregnant woman, infants and the elderly, oh - and for children of course. But they are bad for YOU TOO! You want your child to have a parent for many years to come.
Don’t be fooled. Avoid these synthetic scents.
• Read the labels of your products. If you read “fragrance”, avoid that product. Completely. That includes shampoos, conditioners, lotions, (even BABY lotion), perfumes, colognes, talcum powder, baby wipes, air fresheners, candles, detergents, stain removers, dryer sheets, deodorizers, liquid soaps, antiseptic washes. Don’t buy them.
• Even if the front of the bottle or spray says, “fragrance-free”, read the label. Many STILL have “fragrance” to cover the nasty chemical smells of the product. READ THE LABEL!!
Why do companies use these toxins in consumer products if they are bad for us?
• These ingredients are cheap, and most people won’t notice the masked, nasty chemical smell of the product's other chemicals.
Doesn’t our government ban all harmful substances?
Nope. The FDA website explains they cannot legally require companies to warn about toxicities in products that aren’t food. Look for labels that list ingredients that are not chemical names and fragrances.
Some countries like Canada, South Korea, Japan, China and the European Union have banned certain chemicals - but not all.. The U.S. government demands such a high level of proof of harm that many agree it is simply impossible to reach — and our government is slow to respond, banning only a few chemicals in its history.
Many people are starting to speak up and voice their concern. Some of the well-informed are even reluctant to wash their hands in a public restroom because of the toxins and scents that are in the soaps and lotions provided there. Surveys say about 23 percent of people will avoid places and other people that have scents.
Keep these poisons away from your family. Read labels and don’t buy the products which contain these chemicals. .
Here are some ideas for household products that you can make at home, instead of buying poisons:
1. Whlte vinegar is an amazing household cleaner. Clean your computer mouse with a 50/50 vinegar/water solution and cotton swabs. Let dry.
2. Vinegar can remove ballpoint pen ink, fabric stains, carpet stains, remove candle or other wax and furniture polish buildup, water rings on furniture, piano keys, and in a spray bottle is as good as any glass cleaner!
3. A disposable aluminum cake pan with table salt and vinegar will clean your silver jewelry. Put the salt and vinegar into the pan, lay the jewelry in and after a few moments, you can rinse off and polish the jewelry. Be sure not to put opals or other fragile stones into the mixture.
4. Baking soda down in your slow drain, with vinegar poured over will both deodorize and unclog the drain. Wait til the foaming is done, then flush with hot tap water, then with cold water. Kills bacteria as well!
5. Clean greasy stoves with vinegar, and put some vinegar in your liquid (natural dishwashing soap) for more grease removal.
6. Vinegar through your coffeemaker or in your french press will clean the nasty odors old coffee leave. Be sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards.
7. A small dish of vinegar with a few drops of liquid dish soap will attract the fruit flies, or pantry moths that plague you occasionally.
8. Mix 4 oz. baking soda, 1 T dish soap, 1/4 c hydrogen peroxide, used with a toothbrush, will clean the grout between your bathroom tiles beautifully.
9. Clean your oven: remove the racks. 2 spoonfuls of baking soda and water in a bowl. make a paste and spread on the inside of the oven. let it sit at least 12 hours. The next day, with a wet rag, wipe out as much of the baking soda paste as you can. Spray all areas with a spray bottle with vinegar in it. Wipe with another wet rag. Turn the oven onto a very low temp for 15-20 minutes. You can do the oven window with the same technique.
10. Search Google, Bing, Yahoo, or your favorite Search Engine for more ideas!
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
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© 2019 Dr Chris Baker