Wednesday, December 17, 2008

There's nothing fresh about air 'fresh'eners

It's the holidays and many of us fill our homes with the sweet smells that remind us of the holidays. But what many do not realize, that smell comes at a cost.

What exactly is a fragrance? Well, we don't really know. The truth is most fragrances contain thousands of different chemicals - all combined to create a certain scent - that have been link to many health issues including cancer. So anything that has any form of fragrance or scent should be avoided. Unfortunately there are countless products that contain these toxins including many that we use daily: skin care, shampoo/conditioner, candles (look for non-conventional forms of candle like those made of soy), perfume, laundry detergent, dryer sheets (invest in dryer balls) and even food additives (ie that buttery popcorn smell)!

Got asthma? Get rid of any product you have with a fragrance! Fragrance is increasingly cited as a trigger in health conditions including asthma, allergies and migraine headaches. A US study put fragrances in the same category as second hand smoke as a trigger for asthma in school-age children. Up to 72 percent of asthmatics report their asthma attacks are triggered by fragrance! Those signs you see in a Naturopath's office or doctor's offices that state 'no perfumes allowed' are up because of these reactions.

Just take a look around your home & see just how many products you use every day that contain 'fake'rances. These toxins are being absorbed through your skin and even inhaled into your lungs. Not only that, they are contributing to indoor air pollution and, in cold weather, are trapped in your home. Doing this check can be a bit overwhelming so just try to make one change at a time. As I've said in a previous post, when buying soap or skin care products look for fragrance free, not unscented. 'Unscented' products often use more chemicals to cover up a strong scent.

As usual, we need to get back to the basics. For a room spray, mix pure water with 25-50 drops of orange oil. For a lasting scent, try mixing 2 tsp of baking soda with your favourite essential oil.

Interesting...The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics ( lists the cosmetic companies who have signed their pledge to remove chemicals that are known or strongly suspected to be toxic from their products. (Avon, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Revlon, Procter & Gamble and Unilever have all refused to sign)!