Fragrance ingredients: the right to know

This is something that I have recently learned about and was alarmed at how us the consumers are blinded by poor labelling regulations on the products we buy. Currently, most consumer product ingredient lists only reveal the presence of fragrance by listing the ingredient “fragrance” or “parfum”. But these terms may represent a combination of up to 100 different chemicals, which until recently have rarely been disclosed. While manufacturers make assurances that their fragrances are safe, consumers have been sceptical of the secrecy around fragrance ingredients and are asking for more details to support those claims. Please note that companies can get away with adding in dangerous ingredients that could be harmful to you and your children and are not required to disclose ‘fragrance’ ingredients under current regulations.

But how to disclose that information is a matter of much debate. Some manufacturers have claimed that disclosing a list of up to 100 unfamiliar chemical names on each product would be confusing to consumers. No doubt there are fragrance chemicals that the average person is exposed to everyday but has never heard of. Is it useful to have all that information? The answer lies in carefully examining two of the main reasons why consumers have been demanding product-specific fragrance ingredient disclosure.

I think we should all become familiar with fragrance ingredients and better understand the impacts on our health and our children. I think that there is a connection here to our children and why we are seeing more and more children suffer from allergies. All those beauty creams, deodorants, shampoos and perfumes all contain ‘fragrances’. Do you think this could have an affect on a developing baby while the mother was pregnant or while she is breastfeeding? If you don’t know whats in the product then how are you to know if it is bad for you?

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