Secret Chemicals in Popular Perfumes Fail the Smell Test

Secret Chemicals in Popular Perfumes Fail the Smell Test

Perfume - http://www.flickr.com/photos/idhren/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

Perfumes, colognes and body sprays from American Eagle, Chanel, Old Spice and others contain undisclosed chemicals that are linked to hormone disruption and allergic reactions, according to recent tests.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned laboratory tests of 17 brand name products. The tests, by Analytical Sciences, found that all of the products contained a total of 38 chemicals not listed on the products' labels.

The Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973 allows companies to not list the chemicals that make up fragrance, which is defined by U.S. law as the combination of chemicals that gives a product its distinct scent.
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The Environmental Working Group examined the tests results, finding that the products contained 25 secret chemicals that have not been assessed for human safety, 12 that are connected to hormone disruption and 24 that are sensitizers linked to allergic reactions. In addition, nine of the 51 chemicals that were listed on product labels have not been assessed for human health.
The findings of the study are detailed in the report Not So Sexy: Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne.

American Eagle Seventy Seven contained 24 secret chemicals, the most of all the products tested. Chanel Coco followed with 18 secret chemicals, Britney Spears Curious and Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio tie with 17, and Old Spice After Hours Body Spray and Quicksilver each had 16. The fewest number of secret chemicals, seven, were found in Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue.

Some of the chemicals discovered include diethyl phthalate, which had been linked to sperm damage and is found in 97 percent of Americans, and musk ketone, a synthetic that accumulates in human fat tissue and breast milk.

Perfume - http://www.flickr.com/photos/idhren/ / CC BY-SA 2.0