Every day, in a variety of ways, we use products that, whether we realize it or not, add fragrance to our lives. From laundry detergent and cleaning supplies to lotions and deodorants, fragrances are everywhere. Because scented products are so much a part of our daily lives, most all of us assume that they are safe. A recent study by the University of Washington may prove that assumption false.
Analyzing an array of common air fresheners, laundry products, personal care products and cleaners, the study found many of the chemicals emitted by these products may be considered hazardous, even toxic. Furthermore, one or more chemicals emitted by nearly one-third of the test products are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to possibly be carcinogenic (cancer causing).
It took a scientific study to discover these possibly harmful chemicals: neither the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) nor the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require companies to disclose the chemicals used to concoct a fragrance. This could be changing, however, as the United States Senate is considering a bill - the aptly named Household Product Labeling Act - that would force companies to disclose the chemical components, including chemicals that are used to create fragrances, of these everyday products.
If you are concerned about the threat posed by common fragranced household items, Anne Steinemann, University of Washington Professor and lead author of the study, suggests using vinegar and baking soda when cleaning, ventilating your home by opening your windows and using fragrance-free products whenever possible.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area if you feel that you have become ill or suffered injury due to contact with a product containing a fragrance.