Perfume, deodorant, laundry detergent, hand lotion, soap, shampoo, dryer sheets, hand sanitizer, potpourri, scented candles, air freshener. What do these products have in common? Artificial fragrance made from endocrine disrupting chemicals.
For those of us with autoimmune disorders or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), the products above can do more than just ruin our day. They can ruin our health.
The Toxicity of Everyday Products
Most of these chemical fragrances contain endocrine disrupting chemicals which may lead to cancer and interfere with immune system function too.
I’m a Hugger
I love hugging people. I’m a hugger! But there’s nothing worse than hugging someone and having the chemical fragrance from their perfume of cologne stay with you all day. It stains my clothes and doesn’t come out in the dry cleaning. The stuff has staying power.
Losing our Sense of Smell is Making us…
All of these scented and perfumed products are so strong that we are losing our sense of smell. It’s like listening to loud music blasting through a speaker. Soon one cannot discern softer sounds.
Lose our Sense of Taste
What is the most integral component of our sense of taste? It’s our sense of smell. If you can’t smell, you basically can’t taste your food. This can lead to food cravings, a lack of satiation, and unsatisfied hunger.
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Solutions for Scented Times
The soap provided in most, if not all, of the alternative practitioners’ offices, that I go to is perfumed with artificial fragrance. Even the exercise studios I go to do not provide unscented soap. Because of this, I carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with me.
Traveling Scent Free
When we travel and stay in a rental, I bring my own hand soap, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, laundry detergent, and cleaning products. This provides my family with a scent free environment.
Why Can’t We Smell Like Humans?
I’m trying to figure out what our cultural obsession is with not smelling like humans –what do you think?
Is Your Home a Scent-Free Zone?
What’s the point of eating all of this organic food while slathering our bodies in layers of chemicals? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!
Deanna Bishop says
Thank you for writing about this topic of fragrance pollution. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one with this issue. I can’t wash my hands at a hospital or doctor office because of the scent of the soap. I love Bed, Bath and Beyond but have to limit my time in that store. I can’t use Dawn dish soap without sneezing, but it works best to wash off grease. I appreciate the time you put into all the topics you share with us.
Deanna, thanks for your comment. And while I love the term “olfactory trespassing,” I think the term you use “fragrance pollution” is even better!
Yes!!! We are assaulted on a regular basis by harmful scents. Public bathrooms are particularly offensive to me and my sensitive nose, eyes, and head.
I recently petitioned my children’s school to stop allowing teachers to put those horrible toxic scented plug-ins in their rooms because I get a headache whenever I go in the school Unfortunately, I was not met with a very understanding audience, but I will persist. It is surprising to me how little people understand about the harms of these ubiquitous chemicals.
Aeri, my heart broke a little bit thinking about youngsters sitting in a classroom with their sense of smell assaulted by chemical air fresheners, not to mention the array of harmful chemicals this product emits that are a very big toxic body burden for such little ones. Very sad.
Elana, not sure where else to post this since it’s been a while since you’ve done a beauty products post – what do you think about hair dye and nail polish? Just pondering ways to lighten my chemical load. Thanks!
Amy, I think this is a great place to post your question! I haven’t started dying my hair yet, so not yet researched that. I don’t wear nail polish because even if it’s non-toxiv, it won’t allow the nails to breathe. Sorry I’m not more helpful :-)
Joan Coppinger says
I would like to buy an aroma diffuser and the one I like has ultrasonic technology using electric current to cause an instrument to emit a vibration for the mist. I read that you have nothing digital in your bedrooms and I am wondering since I have Hashimotos, would this kind be trouble for me. I would only use essential oils. Thank you
Joan, thanks for your comment. We don’t have power in our bedroom, the circuit is shut off all the time so none of our electric outlets operate in there :-)
mary burruss says
I just walked out of a very popular HomeGoods store that has such a strong scent it gives me a headache immediately. I never used to be this way but I think I’ve become more sensitive to smells and scented things especially since I have learned about the danger they can do to our bodies. Thank you for this article !!!
Mary, you’re welcome!
My people!! Elana, thank you for this post!! I’m all about that scent free life. Even short term exposure to certain fragrance compounds will give me a sinus infection. When I tell my students that their perfumed products make my ears hurt they look at me like I’m trying to explain how to partition a line segment!! I keep EO in my bag and dab under my nose to disrupt the bad smell with good. I’ve heard smelling coffee beans will do same. Saline rinse and oregano oil gel caps help me also. Looking for other suggestions.
Patricia, that is such a great term –the scent-free life! Much kinder than olfactory trespassing. Fascinating anecdote about coffee, I always feel better after I smell it! I too am looking for hints, especially about how to get perfume out of the clothes I buy used. Glad we’re all in this together. ❤️
Would you share with me what EO is? If it is essential oil is there a particular one that helps disrupt the bad smell?