You are here

Is fragrance itself tested?

Many of the ingredients in fragrance or fragranced products are used in very tiny amounts. The fragrance industry argues ( see “Who’s tested the ingredients?”) that even harmful substances may be used in such small amounts that they won’t cause any health effects.

However, a chemical that’s relatively harmless on its own may interact with other chemicals in the same product in ways that make the combination more dangerous than any individual ingredient. They may also interact with chemicals in other products that a consumer is using.  If you use a fragranced sunblock at the same time as a perfume, the ingredients of the two products may react together in unexpected ways.

For these reasons, it’s necessary to test the overall effect of fragrance – the amount and combination of ingredients that occurs in the products as we actually use them.

This is a sample of the many papers about fragrance that can be found in the scientific literature. They make pretty heavy reading, so the most indigestible ones have been summarized. However, references are supplied so they can be read in full. These are scholarly papers from peer-reviewed journals – that is, they have been checked by independent scientists.

For ethical reasons some of these tests have been done on animals rather than humans, but humans and animals share many health-compromising pathways.

The tests have been divided into the three main health problem associated with fragrance:

  • Allergy ( asthma and rashes) and sensitivity (headaches, nausea and other symptoms)
  • Cancer
  • Hormone disruption (so called “gender-bender” chemicals that affect the production of sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone).

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer