Sweet-Smelling, But Potentially Unhealthy Perfume


POSTED: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - 6:44pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - 7:19pm

Your favorite fragrance may not be so sweet when it comes to your health. The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics in San Francisco tested 17 popular body sprays, perfumes and colognes and says they may be harmful. Marianne Favro has a look at the study.

The next time you spray on your favorite perfume, you may be getting more than an alluring scent. The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics tested these 17 popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays in an independent lab and found many of the chemicals in them weren't so sweet.

"All of the products contained unlabeled, toxic and unregulated chemicals," said Campaign For Safe Cosmetics representative Stacy Malkan. She says lab tests revealed some products contained chemicals which may increase your cancer risk. 

"Some of the celebrity brands included some of the highest number of hormone disrupting chemicals and chemicals that can act like estrogen, which is a concern because higher estrogen exposures are linked to a higher risk of breast cancer," said Malkan.

In response to the report, the Personal Care Products Council, which represents the cosmetics industry, issued this statement saying: "Cosmetic ingredients are carefully selected for safety and suitability for their specific applications, and consumers can be confident in the safety of their products."

The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics is now asking perfume manufacturers to list all the chemicals in a scent, especially since lab tests revealed most of the products contained ingredients known to trigger allergic reactions.

"The products contain actually 10 allergens on average each and those chemicals can trigger reactions like headaches, asthma attacks, skin rashes," Malkan said.

So you may smell good, but you just might not look pretty.

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