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Larkspur, CA, 94977-1155
Support and Information Line
"WARNING: The safety of this product has not been determined."
FDA Warning Label
The ad states in part: "The composition of perfumes hasn't changed much in hundreds of years. They contain primarily water and alcohol -- of the same type and purity we drink in beverages -- as well as essential fragrance oils." Do notice that line about water and alcohol. Remember that when you read and further investigate the information below. We do not drink denatured alcohol. Do we really think the industry will pay the excise taxes to use "drinking alcohol"? But more importantly, SPEIAC and the industry in general, always assures us that their products are safe.
In this ad, they flat out state:
To learn the TRUTH about chemicals used to manufacture synthetic fragrances, please visit
From the National Safety Council
Acetaldehyde is just one commonly used flavors and fragrance ingredient
"Acetaldehyde is a substance which may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen, according to the Seventh Annual Report on Carcinogens, National Toxicology Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is also classified in EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) to be a known or suspected carcinogen. When ingested or inhaled, acetaldehyde can irritate the eye, nose, and throat; cause conjunctivitis, coughing, central nervous system depression, eye and skin burns, dermatitis, and delayed pulmonary edema." [Emphasis added.]
Fragrances also contain synthetic musks, which bioaccumulate, coumarin, which is an anticoagulant, and phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors. To learn more about these chemicals, please visit
With the modern formulation of synthetic scents, that advice only looks good on paper -- or, on a computer monitor. Reality dictates that the fragrances waft unbidden well beyond an arm's length AND they last. Air currents move. And synthetic scents linger. They are created to last. They do so, long after an odorovector has left an area. Not only that, the chemicals cling to the body, hair and clothing of those near by ... not to mention, the furnishings, carpets, and the fabric-lined elevators and modern office moduler construction components. And scents cling to money . . . but that's another book!
Then, think some more about that "arm's length." Do you have it when a nurse is drawing your blood? Or, how about when your doctor is examining you? Do you have it on crowded transit? In a crowded elevator? How about in school? In your workplace? In your place of worship? In the theater? The movies? On a plane? . . . An arm's length? Preposterous. It's just an industry public relations campaign gimmick.
But if a perfume or scented product user is not to exceed his or her "scent circle," shouldn't we then have a "scent-FREE circle" so that we can claim our arm's length of fragrance-free space? Of course, we would still be caught by the fact that often one cannot claim an arm's length of space, plus chemicals don't recognize boundaries. Not even those declared by the fragrance industry. We are back to that word: PREPOSTEROUS!
Health of untold numbers of people who live with asthma and other upper and lower respiratory disorders, cancers, migraines and other headaches, ADD, Autisim, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, CFIDS, MCS, GWS, . . . The list is seemingly endless, but then so too are the inadequately-tested chemicals used to make synthetically scented products.
Fragrances, which are manufactured to be smelled, have not been thoroughly tested for adverse effects upon inhalation. Nor for their neurotoxic effects (adversely affecting your brain and central nervous system). Nor for teratogenic effects (adversely affecting embryonic and fetal development). Nor have fragrances been adequately tested for systemic effects, nor for effects over long-term exposure, nor for adverse effects to skin, respiratory systems, body organs at secondary and tertiary levels of exposure. That is, for adverse effects on all of the people who do not care to use scented products, or for health reasons, have been told by their astute doctors to do the impossible: AVOID FRAGRANCES.
The fragrance industry is not regulated by any government agency. Indeed, the fragmentation of what little government oversite that exists has helped create these products that have been released to market with no knowledge of the extent of their adverse effects upon users and people with whom the user comes in contact.
Fragmentation of government oversite? Yes, the FDA is considered the agency over fragrances in cosmetics; the EPA is the agency concerned with air quality vs. air pollution, yet for years it buried the evidence that perfume adversely affects IAQ in buildings and schools (I know for I wrote the EPA many times over); the CPSC is the agency concerned with fragrances in products such as detergents and fabric softeners. There is no one agency that regulates the fragrance industry. Indeed, none of these agencies, charged with protecting public health, regulate the fragrance industry as it is self-regulated, with only a voluntary program in place for the FDA's collection of information. Now, you tell me who is being served. I say it is not the public.
E-Mail comments to "Information Center" Info@cpsc.gov
Your CPSC wants to hear from you about fabric softeners polluting neighborhood air -- air you and your children must breathe. If you -- or family members -- have adverse reactions to fabric softeners, tell that to the CPSC.
Environmental Protection Agency - Indoor Air Quality - http://www.epa.gov/iaq/
Food and Drug Administration http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-206.html
Ethyl alcohol - CAS # 64-17-5
Exposure Routes: inhalation, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact
To learn of more chemicals in this product, and their adverse effects please see
The fragrance industry admits in February 2002 that it has just begun to test for effects upon inhalation after first assuring us that, "Products are thoroughly tested before being marketed to assure their health and safety."
What to know before buying a
Valentine's Day perfume"
By Francesca Lyman; Feb. 6, 2002; MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR
"In response to the perceived problems of fragrances in the air, [Glenn] Roberts [with Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM)] says that his industry group has begun the first study to examine fragrance inhalation. 'We're spending a lot of money on this,' he says, 'to understand the systemic effects of fragrances on organs and nervous system, what happens when fragrances are inhaled.' "
What to know before buying a Valentinežs Day perfume
By Francesca Lyman; Feb. 6, 2002; MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR
"Products are thoroughly tested before being marketed to assure their health and safety, says Glenn Roberts, spokesperson for the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, an industry-sponsored group that does testing of chemicals. "
And then, further along we find:
"In response to the perceived problems of fragrances in the air, Roberts says that his industry group has begun the first study to examine fragrance inhalation. 'Wežre spending a lot of money on this,' he says, 'to understand the systemic effects of fragrances on organs and nervous system, what happens when fragrances are inhaled.' "
Emphasis added. How can the industry lay claim to thorough testing before marketing and not test for effects upon inhalation, not check for systemic effects, nor for effects following long-term exposures, nor for effects at the second- and third-hand levels of exposures? I have never used perfume and yet, perfumes used by others in my former workplace -- very heavy scents, heavily applied -- robbed my of my health and vitality . . . and my career. Do notice the industry's dollars whine! The price the already-injured person has paid is beyond measure. Too many have paid the ultimate price: Premature death.
Following is an excerpt from the latest article in which assurances are given. I don't have a link to provide to this article.
I wish our mainstream medical and government experts would stop using the word "UNEXPLAINED" when queried about the skyrocketing rates of chronic illnesses and premature deaths, and start seriously looking into the toxic chemicals which the public applies daily to their bodies, and releases into the ambient air for all others to breathe as well.-- barb
By JILL CARROLL, Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"... The cosmetics industry said it believes phthalates in cosmetics pose no problems. "There is no public-health concern [relating to] its use in cosmetics," said Gerald McEwen, vice president of science for the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. "We think they are safe as we are using them in our products."
Last Updated: July 10, 2002: Phthalates and Your Health
"When perfume fragrances are dissolved in either DEP or DMP, they evaporate more slowly, making the scent linger longer. "
Yes, years. I've put magazines with leaking scent strips in a plastic bag, in the garage, and have forgotten about them. Many years later, having forgotten about it, I've started having a fragrance reaction without really smelling fragrance, until I happen to work my way nearer to the plastic bag and, by George! the damn leaking scent strips are still leaking . . . and that's not even supposed to have gone through the mail.
Now we learn we can thank the hormone disrupting phthalates for that longer lasting scent. Of course, the fragrance industry has begun informing their consumers to be "respectful" and to remember their "scent circle" -- an arm's length -- with products that can't respect a boundary. Wunderbar! -- barb
Go to photo of the front of Eternity packaging.
Return to FDA Petition, contact info and index
Do you wish more information about synthetic fragrances and the industry? Visit the Fragranced Products Information Networkby Betty Bridges, RN. http://www.fpinva.org
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The Environmental Health Network (EHN) [of California] is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency and offers support and information for the chemically injured. Learn from the work of Julia Kendall, get The BEST of the Reactor, join EHN and receive The New Reactor. See what influence the Chemical Manufacturers have had against those of us with EI. The URL for EHN's homepage is http://ehnca.org/ehnindex.htm