EHN [of California]
P.O. Box 1155
Larkspur, California, 94977-0074

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A 501 (c) (3) non profit agency.

Petrochemical-derived fragrances

Our government does not warn us about the toxins with which our modern synthetic scents are concocted.

Your medical doctors likely don't know to warn you. One of the reasons is that too many doctors do not receive education in diagnosing illnesses that are caused by modern environmental factors. Rather, they are well trained to write prescriptions for drugs.

Drugs that, at best, can only help you beyond some of the immediate symptoms of fragrance poisoning. Alas, there's no concern expressed for the long-term, systemic effects of fragrance use/abuse, just as most doctors prescribe drugs without concern for their long-term effects. It takes AVOIDANCE of synthetic flavors and fragrance products to really help your body. The key word is PREVENTION.

Where avoidance becomes difficult, if not down right impossible, is when you are forced to be in an atmostphere that is fragrance sensitizing. For example: workplaces! Of course, a workplace for one also happens to be a healthcare facility, including doctors' offices, for another. The same is true of schools, civic agencies, public transit, places of religious worship; and of course, includes all things recreational as well.

We are talking public areas, here. And thus far, it has been very difficult to get doctors and researchers to see the importance of clearing the air of fragrance products. Petrochemically derived fragrances (and their twin, flavors) are superfluous toxins; they do not -- they cannot -- clean the air. Even the industry admits that! (See RIFM RESPIRATORY SAFETY PROGRAM - INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Caveat Emptor!
EHN's site -- -- is here for you. Please use it to educate yourself. And others. Especially your doctors!

Why risk harm to your children and yourself? The industry, through its advertising, is really telling you that without their petrochemically derived products -- which also take a toll on our environment -- your clean body has:

  • a stench that can't be tolerated and must be masked;
  • that you are ugly without using their products;
  • that you'll not be able to win your heart's delight;
  • that you'll not climb the corporate ladder, ...

Do you really believe fragrance and cosmetics ads? If not, then look for fragrance-free, eco-friendly products. YOU are worthy of healthier products and so are your family members, friends and colleagues. And, you'll help our planet and its other beings as well by switching to those safer alternatives.

If you feel as we do, that the public should be alerted, please e-mail the FDA who still believes fragrances are a low priority issue. Just reference Docket Number 99P - 1340 and send your message to the FDA at .

Tell the FDA just how the fragrances, which they allow to be marketed without their "mandatory" warning message, adversely affect your health or the health of your family members. Do not include any identifying numbers like social security or insurance numbers.

But do tell them of your body's adverse events (FDA's favorite phrase, which they use to describe every thing from a rash to a premature death) suffered because of fragrances used by other people. And, of course, if you've used fragrances in the past and have had advese events due to those chemical concoctions, please inform the FDA of that too. And, while you are at it, please copy your Representative and your state's two Senators.

In the meantime, you can certainly do something about fragrances! Look at the label. IF you see the benign-sounding word, FRAGRANCE, on the label, don't buy it. You have every right to feel that fragrances and other cosmetics must be proven to be made safer. That is happening in Europe. What, we in the USA are not as worth protecting as our sisters and brothers in Europe? So it would seem. Our representatives and senators have not moved on protecting public health and the FDA was established to favor the fragrance (and flavors) industry from the get-go in June 1938.

To be sure, the industry assures us that we are safe using their products. But they do not furnish any proof that fragrances are safe for inhalation, upon absorption, for the brain and nervous systems (central and autonomic), for systemic effects, that they won't adversely affect reproduction, that they are safe for developing embryos and fetuses, or also safe upon long-term exposure, or for secondhand users whose astute doctors have stated the impossible: Avoid fragrances!

That safety we've been assured of down through the years? Those tests? That FDA compliance? Ever wonder about that?

The focus of the fragrance testing has been for dermatological (skin) effects of primary users. I kid you not.

And, what's more, fragrances' effects upon the skin have ranked NUMBER ONE for skin irritation from cosmetics. Well, fragrances are also known irritants and sensitizers to the respiratory system! Remember, breathing is a major life activity . . . at least according to the ADA, if not common sense, or medical wisdom.

And while you are playing the remembering game, please remember that as far back as 1986 NAS, before the House, asked that fragrances be studied for their adverse neurological effects. (See Neurotoxins on EHN at

Why hasn't that study -- or any other safety measures -- been undertaken? Because -- as I see it -- the flavors and fragrance industry lobbyists have a gargantuan pocketbook with which to influence OUR representatives and senators.

It is way past time due for a change. -- barb

Other EHN links you may enjoy visiting ...

For excellent information on health effects of fragrances, visit the site of
Betty Bridges, RN
Fragranced Products Information Network


Dear Readers:

Well, this was then: Those of you who know me, know sometimes I'm running on "empty." Or more likely, because I'm living with MCS, it's those lingering fumes that get me down. However, I am resiliant and a determined individual. With that in mind, although the issues of The New Reactor are woefully late, I'm working on them and trying to climb out of "NR debt." I've finally gotten the year 2001 wrapped up. Now onto "mustard"ing the ability to "relish" playing "ketchup." (With all due thanks to fellow punster, Sue Hodges.

To the readers of The New Reactor, my apologies for my tardiness, barb

And THIS is now! I had high hopes of getting The New Reactor published again, but now 2005 is half over and its been since 2002 that I was able to carry that load. Most importantly, we lost our database manager to ill health and that, combined with my own inabilities, means that EHN's newsletter is in hiatus. YOU could change that by volunteering to be a database manager and find a friend to be the editor of The New Reactor . . . or vice versa.
With hope, barb

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The Environmental Health Network (EHN) [of California] is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency and offers support and information for the chemically injured. EHN brings you topics on this page that need your immediate attention The URL for this page is