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Undisclosed Chemicals in Perfumes Cause Allergies, Asthma, and Other Health Problems

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According to a report recently released by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, perfume companies do not list an average of 14 ingredients in their fragrance products, even when these ingredients might cause allergic reactions or other health problems.

Although the problems caused by these ingredients can include “asthma, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis” (CNN), fragrance companies aren’t legally obligated to disclose what chemicals are in their fragrances. While the law might have originally been designed to protect trade secrets, now it stands to negatively affect consumers.

In the report, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics called on Congress to rewrite the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973 to require all the chemicals in a perfume or cologne to be listed.

In the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics study, 12 of the 17 fragrances tested also contained diethyl phthalate, known as DEP.

Phthalates are generally classified as endocrine disruptors, meaning they can interfere with the chemical signaling system in the body, and some studies suggest they may interfere with the reproductive development of boys in the womb. -CNN

If there is any question of a chemical interfering with the health and development of fetuses, consumers must absolutely be allowed to access information about whether they are breathing in or splashing such a chemical on their bodies. The same holds true for known allergens. It’s not at all unreasonable to require perfume chemicals to be listed on the label; this should have already been done.