I developed Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) in the OR (operating room) where, for years, I breathed all sorts of low-level anesthetics (halothane, enflurane, and methoxyflurane). I also inhaled the very smelly (highly toxic) bonding glue methyl-methacrylate that we used for hip replacements in adjoining suites.
Several nurse friends had anaphylactic allergic reactions during those cases (and had to transfer to other areas), but we never knew why. As the months rolled by, I developed headaches that lasted 4-5 hours after leaving.
I’ve had to stop asking a sweet older friend over whose clothing smells strongly (sickeningly) of fabric softener. I can’t bring my myself to tell her she can use 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the fabric softener cup or or to use a wool dryer ball.
Research shows that chemicals including VOCs (volatile organic compounds) have direct, quick access to the brain through the nasal passages causing central nervous system disorders & allergic reactions. (source)
I believe many of our daily home and workplace smells are in the same category, wreaking damage to us on many levels, often not even noticed until a complex health issue arises!
Even in 2020, for many, the thought of their laundry or personal care products being a source of unwanted health-destroying chemicals in their household sounds strange.
For someone who is trying to figure out how to heal from long-term disease or why they are sick in the first place, man-made fragrances will be a part of the puzzle, and should be understood.
Artificial Fragrances are Dirt Cheap To Manufacture
Because of the higher cost of true essential fragrance oils, corporations have gone to cheap synthetic “imitation” fragrances made in laboratories from derivatives of petroleum and coal tar. (source).
These include VOCs capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders & allergic reactions such as:
- benzene derivatives
- alcohol denaturants
- other known toxics & sensitizers
These man-made smells are a tiny fraction of the cost.
They are packaged beautifully.
And you think you are getting an amazing product.
Manufactured fragrances enable marketing firms to emphasize their “unique fragrances” and customers develop brand loyalty based on scent as we will see in a minute.
Chemical “fragrance” or “parfum” is found in:
- lotions and serums
- scented candles
- dryer sheets
- air fresheners
- wax melts
- body sprays
- laundry detergent
The Industry’s Toxic Secrets
To corporate chemists, these truths are certainly known, but decisions of stockholders and the bottom line – in most cases – is of utmost importance to the company.
“Virtually none of these single or combined ingredients are tested for central nervous system safety despite the fact that chemicals in fragrances are known to be neurotoxic and/or carcinogenic” (source).
Residues of chemicals in laundry detergents and products like Febreze remain on clothing after it is washed.
Clear evidence of this can be found in scented products, because chemical fragrances would be useless if they were simply washed out.
Narcotic and Hormone-like Effects Are Addictive
Daily exposure to the chemicals in perfumes and colognes creates chemical dependency (addiction).
As with all other forms of addiction, people tend to use more and more fragrance over time and switch to stronger and stronger fragrances, because they don’t feel the desired effect.
There is no “right to know” for fragranced products: Ingredients in fragrances are considered to be “proprietary” or “confidential” and do not have to be revealed to the consumer even when the product has been reported to cause human health problems. (source)
Fragrances God Gave Us vs. Artificial Fragrances
As a researching mom using natural essential oils medicinally for well over 20 years, I now recognize synthetic fragrances when I smell them.
These fakes possess the power to give me a headache or respiratory congestion similar to breathing automobile exhaust. You will immediately discern between imitation fragrances that come from factories and the fragrances that God has given to us.
When I smell the spring Korean spicebushes or the summer butterfly bushes outside my door my spirits lift, and I am captivated by God’s good gifts. Plant essential oils have the capacity to heal, because they preserve the life-giving substances that were naturally present in the plants that heal (Gen. 1:29, Rev. 22:2)
Test Yourself to See If You are Sensitive
In later stages of MCS, when the immune system can no longer handle the toxicity, the sense of smell becomes hypersensitive.
These people (like me) are essentially canaries in the coal mine. This PubMed study is consistent with that.
If you suspect you may be sensitive to synthetic fragrances, or are developing MCS, test yourself in the detergent aisle or lawn care aisle of a superstore.
There is one telltale sign: If the smell of the newly manufactured synthetic products [chemicals] is sickening to you, possibly even bringing on a runny nose or sneezing, slight headache or breathing problems, you can be pretty sure that you’re already chemically sensitive or are on your way to becoming so.
If you stop chronic exposure now, your immune system can still recover. Please don’t wait. You may be in danger of developing an environmental illness.
Lists of MUCH SAFER products I’ve discovered and use:
- 9 Less-Toxic & Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands
- Chemicals In Our Skin Care Products: 25 Safer Alternative Picks
- Protect Your Hide: 9 Of The Safest Sunscreens For Kids (& You)
- 19 Known Safe Essential Oils For Children & Babies
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.“ ~1 Corinthians 6:20