The concept of secondhand smoke is an old and very tiresome one of people who find it hard to breathe when there is smoke around them. Secondhand smoke is created when smoke that is not produced by an individual and in the air because of environmental factors hurt the breathing of human beings. The secondhand smoke can include cigarette smoke from people smoking around us or smoke from vehicles. There are a lot of medical problems caused by secondhand smoke. Cancer, respiratory problems and many other diseases are attributed to secondhand smoke. The secondhand fragrance is the new secondhand smoke as many medical problems can arise from second-hand fragrance.
Fragrance – A Secondhand Smoke
Fragrances and perfumes can have an adverse medical effect on many people. It can cause breathing problems, headache, nausea, allergies, dizziness and many other health issues are caused by an overwhelming sense of smell caused by the secondhand fragrance smell. It affects human beings as much as secondhand smoke caused by cigarettes. Long term impact of synthetic fragrances is potentially very harmful to health.
How Fragrances have Changed – a Historical Perspective
Fragrances have been used for over 4000 years but the process of making fragrances was a natural one just a few decades ago. Fragrances were made using pure ingredients and a process of distillation. Using just pure essential oils to make fragrances is a thing of the past. Synthetic fragrances of today can cause serious long term medical problems including diabetes, autism, ADD/ADHD, obesity, and even hormonal disruption. Synthetic fragrances are even worse for the environment and negatively affect air quality. The word perfume means through fumes or smoke or “par” and “fumes” in Latin.
Types of Fragrances
There are various types of secondhand fragrances. Candles, detergents, perfumes, attars, hair sprays, shampoos, aftershaves, fabric softeners, and several fragrant products have fragrances that can cause a “secondhand smoke” or secondhand fragrance problems. Some cities have fragrance free zones for people who find it overwhelming to use such fragrances. Fragrance-free zones have become a hot topic of debate with two opposing camps. There are many synthetic chemicals in today’s perfumes to make the perfume inexpensive and to last longer. The following are some of the chemicals that are part of today’s perfumes which are harmful to health.
Chemicals Used in Fragrances and Perfumes
Hundreds, even thousands of synthetic chemicals can be used in making perfume but generally a composition of chemicals used in perfumes uses only a few chemicals that work well together in creating the perfume with synthetic chemicals. A large number of fragrances and perfumes have phthalates which are endocrine disruptors.
These chemicals have been linked to many diseases like cancer, obesity, liver, diabetes, ADHD, Autism and also bad for pregnant women especially in their third trimesters. Cancer-causing chemicals and chemicals that are derived from petrochemicals are all used in making perfumes and these chemicals not just cause cancer but a series of other medical issues as well. Some of the other medical issues caused by these chemicals like birth defects, asthma, nervous system disorders, allergies and of course different types of cancers.
Are Natural Fragrances and Essential Oils Dangerous?
Many natural fragrances promote themselves as having just natural ingredients and essential oils. But many these green and organic fragrances also have chemicals and many of the essential oils are processed and extracted using chemicals. Essential oils have terpenes which then negatively react with the ozone layer. The secondary pollutants from perfumes include formaldehyde, acetone, acetaldehyde, and other ultrafine particles that are harmful to the environment. To avoid these, the process of extraction of essential oils should be done without using solvents.
Protection from Harmful Fragrances
Fragrances are sometimes harmful to health and also harmful as secondhand smoke or aroma for other people. Babies, children, the elderly and even adults are at risk from harmful chemicals. There are many respiratory problems caused by fragrances and medical associations all over the world have suggested that there should be fragrance-free zones in workplaces, hospitals, and schools. Buying chemical-free perfumes and fragrances is a good idea and unscented and fragrance-free household products are a great way to get rid of chemical-based products that are
harmful to health.
Fragrances can be as harmful as cigarette smoke and getting rid of fragrances in the environment is a good idea.