Lifestyle is undergoing a fast change. Life is becoming more artificial. Natural resources are ignored and are replaced by artificial ones. Life is changing vastly with the evolution through simulations using computer models, robotics, and biochemistry, etc. Living rooms are filled with artificial lights, air conditioning and artificial fragrance. These changes are affecting the health of every living being. Nowadays artificial fragrances are becoming more and more popular.
Life today wants to be more fragrant. Modern life is bombarded with artificially scented products. Every product that we handle has to be treated with artificial fragrance to make it more attractive. The commercial world is more particular about the sales and profit than about the chemicals that are often used to formulate these fragrances used in those products. Nobody bothers that the fragrances used are toxic to the human body over time.
Smells around us
We are living in a world of smells. Smells play a vital role in our lives. Our body has a natural smell of its own. We have smells from our kitchen, from baking bread, spaghetti cooking on the stove, etc. The aromas from the garden flowers are soothing to us. We smell the rain and soil. We are exhausted with the stench from dirt and garbage. Quietly and most of the times invisibly, these smells come into us, reach our brains, stirring up feelings and memories, alerting us to dangers or pleasures, and subtly altering our moods.
Why do we use artificial fragrances?
Since smell interacts with our brain and memory we try to use artificial fragrances to change our emotions and moods. Modern business which is more worried about sales and profit adds synthetic fragrance to everything from hair conditioner to clothing. Even the packages are bathed in fragrance with an aim of soothing, exciting, or otherwise seducing consumers into picking products off store shelves. Rebecca Sutton, Ph.D., an environmental chemist with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization confirms this saying, “In the past two decades production and use of fragrance has increased dramatically worldwide.”
Artificial fragrance affecting health
Artificial fragrances in products do not stop with sales. They cause adverse effects on the consumers. The artificial fragrances, when used for long time, create toxins in our body. It is estimated that more than 3,000 chemicals, most of them synthetic, are used in these artificial fragrances. Rebecca Sutton says, “Repeated exposures over a lifetime are creating a toxic soup in our bodies. The extent to which these exposures harm us is not known for certain because there’s little regulation, and these substances don’t necessarily get tested.”
Artificial fragrances turning allergic
The artificial fragrances used in products are allergic to many people who are normally allergic to heavy scents. It is because these fragrances often contain chemicals that cause irritation to the nose, eyes and throat. Artificial fragrances containing petrochemicals are commonly used in air fresheners, soaps, detergents and cleaners, deodorants, lotions, perfumes and other common products. Petrochemicals such as Benzene, toluene, xylenes, and methanol formulate certain aromas which are derived from natural gas and petroleum.
Health hazards caused by artificial fragrances
Artificial fragrances are known as “Trademarked scent” and are protected by the law as a “trade secret”. They need not be shown on the product label. Benzene derivatives and many other known toxics and sensitizers are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and, of course, allergic reactions.
Fragrances cripple generations
The fragrances, often used in perfumes and body care products such as scented lotions, are inhaled as well as absorbed through the skin. The chemicals in them enter the blood stream and are absorbed into the body via the lungs. One recent study linked Di-ethyl phthalate in fragrant chemicals to developmental abnormalities in the fetuses of exposed mothers. It has also been linked to later learning disabilities in children.
Human sense of smell is so powerful that the commercial world tries to capitalize this sense of smell for their profit. This trend of selfish commercialism should not be encouraged.