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Scents or Sense?

Information appearing in two columns, The New Reactor,Vol 9, No. 2: March - April 1999

By Barb Wilkie

Subject: Air freshener toxicity
"Toxic effects of air freshener emissions; Rosalind Anderson Ph.D. and Julius Anderson M.D.-Ph.D. Archives of Environmental Health (1997) 52: 433-441. Air freshener emissions caused irritation of the eyes and lungs of mice. The mice also developed difficulty breathing (asthma-like attack) and signs of neurotoxicity such as loss of balance, tremors, and convulsions. Several of the mice died as a result of the exposure."

Anderson Labs
Box 323
West Hartford, VT 05084.

Dear Readers: The Andersons have peer-reviewed documents available, as well as videos of the mice and their adverse reactions. Visit their website to learn more about their documents. Write to them at the above address, or phone: 1.802.295.7344, or email:

We learn from the New York Times, national edition, 4/18/99 p. BU-13, that scented suits are in; that the "new fashion is the rage" in South Korea. The Times goes on to tell us, "Young men hoping to avoid reeking of cigarettes and liquor when they tiptoe home in the wee hours have been snapping up the suits since January. The suits are made of fabric impregnated with microcapsules that release aromas of lavender, pine or peppermint when touched or rubbed. The effect is said to mask the olfactory evidence of a night's socializing and to last for three years or 15 to 20 dry cleanings. Customers applied the sniff test to an offering by LG Fashion in a Seoul store, where scented suites are selling briskly for $250 to $400."

I wonder if there will be a sudden and "unaccountable" rise in asthma and asthma deaths in South Korea? Readers, please keep your eyes open for such a statistic. Thanks. -- barb

Report your adverse reactions to our government!

FDA CITIZENS' Petition -- This is a golden opportunity to inform the FDA of your adverse reactions, whether they are suffered first- or secondhand. Just write a note, or use the sample letter, available with the petition, to inform the FDA that the proven trade secret-protected toxic chemicals used in the formulation of modern synthtetic scents do exact a toll on human -- and pet -- health. If you know the name of the product that adversely affects your health -- or that of your children or elderly parentsŢ-- please tell them that also. Identify symptoms if possible. If you╝ve lost your job, your family, your home, inform them of that also. Suggest the FDA build a database. There is no set deadline for this project -- but PLEASE, take the time and energy today to inform the FDA!

Contact information is available at the top of the FDA Petition page at

Be sure to link out to the Analyses at and to Product Label at for more edifying information.

For those of you who also want to "take it to the top," of the Food and Drug Administration http://www. -- for they have stated they want to hear from those of us whose health and lives are adversely affected by personal care fragrance products -- contact:

    Mr. Lark Lambert
    Office of Cosmetics and Colors Cosmetic Adverse Reaction Monitoring Program
    200 C St. SW
    Washington, DC 20204
    phone: 202.205.4706 -- fax: 202.205.5098


    Mr. Charles Haynes
    CFSAN HFS-105
    200 C Street, S.W.
    Washington, DC 20204
    phone: 202.205.4061 -- fax: 202.205.5098

Report unsafe products: Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

From their web page: "Please note that [CPSC] does not have jurisdiction over products such as cars and other on-road vehicles, car seat performance in protecting children when riding in on-road vehicles, foods, drugs and medicines, cosmetics, and pesticides. ń " However, according to a representative from the Environmental Protection Agency, CPSC is the one to contact for fragrance products other than cosmetics (household cleaners, air fresheners). CPSC╝s Consumer Product Incident Report form resides at You can also make a report by calling toll-free at 1.800.638.2772.

And a column ender ... an ad from elsewhere


-- barb

For excellent information on health effects of fragrances, visit Fragranced Products Information Network:

Comments? (Barb's email is no longer valid, please contact EHN). Please put WWW in subject line. Thanks.

Please check back often as we are always adding valuable links to our pages of Links.

As with all organizations, EHN depends upon your contributions of time and energy, as well as your membership support.

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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. EHN brings you topics on this page that need your immediate attention The URL for this page is