Health hazards of perfumes

Many of you may have noticed the new signs in my office asking everyone to avoid wearing perfumes or using other scented products in my office.  The main reason is that many of my patients are chemically sensitive.  At least once a month, one of my chemically sensitive patients becomes sick, disoriented, and confused  after walking into my office because a patient earlier in the day wore perfume.  The vast majority of my patients have compromised immunity and detoxification and adding additional toxins such as perfume is not a good idea. has an article describing the toxic effects of fragrances. Many people do not realize that fragrances contain numerous toxic compounds and manufacturers aren’t required to tell consumers the details.  The following are the major reasons to avoid fragrances including perfumes, colognes, air fresheners,  scented detergents, and fabric softeners.

1)  Many fragrances contain sensitizers which can cause the immune system to overreact

2) Fragrances often contain a class of chemicals called phthalates.  Studies show that phthalates can cause problems with hormones and fertility. has more information on phthalates

3) The National Academy of Sciences has classified the compounds in fragrances as neurotoxins.  This means that they can damage your brain and nerves.  The vast majority of my patients are already neurotoxic from Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome and need to avoid other neurotoxins.

4)  Fragrances may contain synthetic musks which can also cause problems with  estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in the body.

5) SPECT scans of the brain have demonstrated that the compounds in fragrances adversely affect blood flow to the brain.



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