What’s in “fragrance”: Are we poisoning our homes?

Beware of cheaper oils, like the ones sold at Walmart or Bed Bath & Beyond that lure you in with their low prices and large displays. These are not real essential oils.

Did you know that a company can slap a label on their bottle that says “essential oils” if at least 5% is pure essential oil? My question (and probably your question too) is what in the world is the other 95% of that bottle?

Many times it’s artificial fragrance. This is why sometimes cheaper oils may smell “stronger” than the real pure oil. Please beware.

Artificial fragrance is one of the most toxic and legal chemicals out there, even allowed to scent children’s cuddle toys and added to scented markers marketed to kids.

Did you know there are as many carcinogens in inhaling an artificially scented candle as inhaling sidestream smoke from one cigarette?

But why would the FDA allow such a thing to be legal and added to items marketed to children?

It’s sickening isn’t it?  There is something called “trade secret laws” that actually allows these companies (like those that make plug-ins, air fresheners and scentsys) to not only add harmful fragrance to their products, but also not be required to label what’s in this fragrance on their packaging, and FDA states that it’s in the name of protecting the companies recipes. They are able to simply call it “fragrance” on their label.

Well, what exactly is fragrance? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates ingredients in consumer products on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most harmful. Fragrance is ranked as 8 and defined by EWG as a “known human immune system toxicant and irritant” and a “known human respiratory system toxicant, irritant and allergen.” It also defines fragrance as an undisclosed mixture of scent chemicals associated with dermatitis, allergies, respiratory distress and poses potential risk to the reproductive system. You can read for yourself here.

My own daughters recently got some Squeezamals. They are plush covered squishies and when I ordered them I wasn’t aware that they were scented. But it was love at first site for my girls and these cute toys. So I made my best effort to remove their scent after reading numerous blog posts, by placing them in a plastic bag sealed with a box of baking soda overnight, then washing them with all natural Thieves cleaner and letting them air dry outside. It worked pretty well. Isn’t so disheartening to that companies are allowed to douse children’s toys in chemicals that are known toxins in the first place?

If you’d like to learn more about artificial fragrance and why you should ban it from your home check out Dr. Axe’s post here, or click on the image below for one of the most detailed explanations of fragrance that I’ve ever seen.

If you are new to oils, beyond curious and ready to dive in, the Premium Starter Kit is where to start. It has the 12 oils you will use the most often (including peppermint, lemon, lavender, Thieves, Digize, Peace & Calming, Valor, Citrus Fresh, Panaway, Stress Away, Raven and frankincense) plus a diffuser. Grab yours here.

I am a mother, teacher, blogger and essential oils educator. I'm passionate about pursuing a healthy lifestyle and a closer relationship with God.

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