Phthalates, Synthetic Fragrance, Cosmetics, and Hormone Problems

 

 

I rabbit on about the dangers of synthetic fragrances but my friends just smile and nod. In all honesty, they probably decided I was crazy years before I started this anti-bad-mood spray company. My guess is that whenever my anti-phthalate argument kicks in at the dinner table they just tune me out and start thinking about their personal lives. Or maybe that's just my sister. I don't know. 

Anyway. The facts are these:

Phthalates are chemicals used in cosmetics, air fresheners, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and perfumes to make fragrances last longer. Two common phthalates are DBP (di-n-butyle phthalate) and DEHP (di[2-ethylhexyl] phthalate).

In tests on lab rats, certain phthalates have been linked to an anti-testosterone effect, specifically testicular "changes," liver problems, and cancer. A study of 319 mother-and-child pairs from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health showed a link between higher phthalate exposure in utero and slower development in children. 

In an interview for The Environment Report, study director Robin Whyatt stated, "Three of the phthalates were significantly associated with behavioral disorders, or behavioral problems: anxious, depressed behaviors, emotionally reactive behaviors, withdrawn behavior.” The study also noted a link between the presence of phthalates in the mothers' urine and motor problems in children. The study controlled for a long list of other factors, including smoke, lead, pesticides, and other common chemicals found in our every-day environment.

The European Union bans DBP and DEHP, along with a third phthalate, BBP. The US Environmental Protection Agency has placed both DBP and DEHP on a list of chemicals that may be hazardous to humans.The problem is that manufacturers of cosmetics and synthetic fragrances aren't required to disclose ingredients on the label. You'll simply see "fragrance" on the list without being able to determine whether the phthalates were added to the product.

Now, obviously, I make my own air fresheners out of totally natural, good-smelling essential oils and sell them on the interwebs for anyone who'd like to give them a try. Sometimes, people tell me that they don't want to try spray my products in shared spaces and I don't say anything, but I'm thinking..."You have no idea how many harmful chemicals are part of your every-day world. A little pink grapefruit essential oil might be the best thing that ever happens to you."

But I don't say that. I just politely nod and smile and respect their decision. But a fifteen-year study from Columbia University is good enough evidence for me. I don't need my toddler to grow man boobs to convince me not to use fabric softener, ok? My towels smell like towels, not Jamaican Kiwi-Vanilla Shazam! And I'm just fine with that.

H. 

 

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Life Stinks: You Can Do Something About It.

 Apathy anti-bad-mood spray smells like fresh-peeled pink grapefruit.

 

People smell, and that’s not so out-of-the ordinary. And neither is chronic, day-to-day misery. What’s unusual is when people – either smelly people or miserable people – actually make an effort to do something about it.

In an email to HR Products’ headquarters, Heather A. explains how much she hates her life:

“Things at my work are going to hell in a hand basket. The only thing keeping me sane is the sprays. My co-worker says that that I look like a ‘huffer’ when she catches me in my office sniffing all the room sprays.”

“She doesn’t smell,” says Heidi Rettig, CEO of antibadmoodsprays.com. “At least I don’t think so, because we’ve never actually met, but her life is obviously completely miserable because she bought all four of my mood-lifting sprays.

Heather A. bought a bottle of Apathy and then ordered the other three scents just hours after receiving her first delivery.

“Okay. I’m hooked. I hate you. I just got my box delivered, and now I’m ordering again. I’m spraying this sh*t on me and everyone that comes in my office. And my home. Ahhh … now I can function. Thank you for making my life bearable.”

How does HR Products feel about that? Heidi Rettig replies, “We love Heather.”

 

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Toxic Chemicals in Commercial Air Fresheners and Laundry Detergents.

 

 

Professor Anne C. Steinemann at University of Washington does research into how pollutants affect humans and the environment. Her recent work has focused on toxic ingredients present in commercially produced air fresheners and laundry detergents. 

The problem with common household cleaning products, says Steinemann, is that they contain hundreds of chemicals that are not listed on the ingredients list. Many of these chemicals may be harmful, even in very small amounts. According to Steinemann,common air freshener chemicals, such as limonene, generate additional hazardous pollutants such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, linked with cancer, and ultrafine particles, linked with heart and lung disease. 

Phthalates are used in almost everything - from personal care products to house paint. Studies show phthalates easily leech into the bloodstream and remain present in urine for a long time; evidence suggests that some phthalates may disrupt the endocrine system.

It's definitely worth thinking about the products you bring into your space - work or home.



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