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Smelling good can have toxic effects on you, if your perfumes don’t conform to strict rules and regulations. Inhaling toxic chemicals from deodorants, scents and perfume bottles have resulted in headaches, nausea, and adverse effects on pregnant women.

Perfumes Can Contain Upto 3000 Chemicals!

Perfume companies never give out the exact names of chemicals used by them, instead they use a single term ‘fragrance’ to denote it. This is deceiving, as “fragrance” can be made up of hundreds of chemical ingredients. The International Fragrance Research Association (IFRA), which is an industry-backed trade group, published a Transparency List of an astonishing 3,000 chemicals used in fragrance.

Dr. Heather Patisaul, a biologist at North Carolina State University says “look at your perfume bottle and read the ingredients, it reads like a chemistry book.” There are the benzyls and ethyls, but the ingredient listed simply as “fragrance” or “parfum” is what worries researchers like Patisaul. She says “those terms are a catchall for 10,000 different ingredients.” Most  cosmetics from cologne to body lotion and deodorant contain petroleum-based chemicals called phthalates.

Phthalates especially diethyl phthalate (DEP) disrupt hormones, including testosterone, which is a big concern for pregnant women, Patisaul says. “There’s evidence connecting phthalates to developmental disorders, especially among newborn boys.” DEP has been linked to poor lung function and myriad sperm issues, from lower counts to reduced motility.

Research has linked phthalates to polycystic ovarian syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that can include trouble conceiving, irregular periods, and hormonal imbalances that can lead to irregular hair growth and acne.


In India there are numerous branded and unbranded locally made perfumes and deodorants flooding the market, and people don’t take the time to look at the ingredient list before applying perfume. This is why the food safety regulator FSSAI and the government of India should be more diligent and exercise control and bring in strict regulation on the cosmetic industry so that the health and lives of millions of Indians could be protected.


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