Febreze – This product is almost impossible to remove and is harmful to people with MCS, asthma, headaches, migraines and other health issues. It should not be used around babies, small children, or pets.
Unstoppables – This new laundry care product is terrible for people with any kind of sensitivities, asthma, allergies, headaches, migraines, skin rashes, hives, babies and small children. We very quickly forget that what we smell and are breathing is not actually a natural fragrance but a group of chemicals combined to create a pleasant smell and feeling, and when you breathe it in, you are inhaling those chemicals. Once a piece of clothing is washed in this product, it takes several washes to the smell (chemicals) out of clothing, sometimes as much as 7-8 washings.
Laundry Detergents – Fragrances in laundry products are both unnecessary and harmful to people with MCS, breathing conditions, those prone to headaches, asthma, allergies, and skin rashes or hives. This is another example where the purpose of the fragrance is aesthetic, just for our pleasure. Most grocery and department stores now carry non-toxic, fragrance free laundry and household cleaning products. If you don’t see them on your favorite stores shelves, ask for assistance.
Dryer Sheets/Fabric Softeners – The same is true of these products as of laundry soaps/detergents, and other fragranced, chemically toxic products. They are harmful to people with already existing health issues, should not be used on baby and small children’s clothing, and bedding.
Axe Products - Axe products are strongly scented and cause problems ranging from headaches to breathing problems, to hives and rashes for some people exposed to the chemicals used to create the fragrance..CNN reported that one young man sprayed Axe in a classroom and it caused several classmates to be sent to the hospital. (See resources).
Scented Hair Products – This includes shampoos, cream rinses, hair conditioners, hair sprays(even unscented ones), mousses, hair spritzes, some hair dyes and any other scented hair care products. Fragranced hair care products cause problems for people with allergies, MCS, breathing issues, and prone to headaches as well as rashes and or hives. In almost all cases the fragrance is synthetic and it is some of the chemicals used to make those scents that cause problems. Our hair does not need to smell like green apples or raspberries, or a fresh summer breeze. These fragranced products hang in the air and can often be smelled several metres/yards away, and cause health issues.
Disinfectant Wipes – wipes also have chemicals in them that can be harmful and cause health concerns for people with sensitivities, asthma, allergies, headaches, and /or migraines.
Hand Sanitizers – While these products may be required in some environments, they should be used very sparingly. These products are endocrine disruptors and can affect hormones.
Perfumes/Colognes - These are names that commonly refer to all spray or dab on liquid scented products. They can be made with dozens or even hundreds of chemicals each. These manufacturers don’t disclose their ingredients, and they don’t have to ensure that the chemicals are safe for human use. Like hair care products the smaller particulate floats through the air and can be smelled several meters/yards away, and even at that distance, they can be quite harmful to a significant amount of the population.
Deodorants/Antiperspirants - (stick/spray/gel) Most of these also have scented ingredients. A deodorant or antiperspirants stick may not cause as much irritation as a spray of gel stick, but the fragrance in them is harmful just the same. Again, it is not just the fragrance in these products, but the chemicals used to create the fragrances. Gel sticks seem to be stronger and last longer than other option. This may be a result of the fact that gels have more moisture in them and therefore the fragrance doesn’t dissipate as quickly as other options. Men’s deodorants and antiperspirants are often much stronger than women’s. These can be quite harmful to people with MCS, allergies, asthma, other health issues.
Air Fresheners - Air fresheners are a combination of chemicals and are very harmful to people with MCS, allergies, asthma, prone to headaches, migraines, sensitive skin (rashes/hives). They can also cause confusion, brain fog, anxiety, poor memory lack of concentration, fatigue, and a whole host of other health issues. Again the affects of these chemicals is largely unknown, and there is no regulation to ensure safety for humans.
Scented Candles –ld also not be used around infants and small children, or anyone with MCS, allergies or asthma, people who are prone to headaches and migraines.
Deodorizers – deodorizers present their own unique concerns. Like most of the rest of these products they are of great concern for people with health issues, but they are much harder to get rid of. They are often used to “freshen” or capture odors in items like rugs and automobile upholstery that can’t be easily washed. It takes a very long time for the small of the deodorizer to dissipate, and for many people the deodorizer is worse than the original smell. Again, not recommended for use around anyone with health issues, small children, or pets.
Shower and Bath Gels – These scented products, while designed to clean our bodies, also present a host of problems as the very fine chemical particles can inundate an entire home when used in a shower (as opposed to a bath), as they attach to air molecules and float around with the movement of air. These chemicals are then breathed in and can cause health concerns for humans. While a bath keeps the product more confined, it is no less dangerous.
Hand and Body Soap – Hand and body soaps are very much like the body washes, and can be sometimes very strongly scented, Irish Spring is one of the strongest smelling hand soaps, and just like all the other scented products listed here, the chemicals used to make those smells, are harmful to people.
Hand and Body Moisturizers – These products we are also constantly putting on our bodies, right from the time we are babies. Most of these lotions on the market have several chemicals in them that again are designed to smell nice and invoke certain warm and fuzzy thoughts and feelings. Infants and small children, whose systems are still developing, are very susceptible to these chemicals, because they are in direct contact with their skin, and often a child’s hand makes its way into the child’s mouth.
Sunscreens – For the most part, sunscreens have several, sometimes dozens of carcinogenic chemicals right in the ingredients. Recently several brands of sunscreen came under fire for being ineffective. It is worth noting that in the years since sunscreens were created, cancer rates, including skin cancer have increased. One might also consider that many countries all over the world have children and adults that often have little to no clothing, live in very hot sunny countries, and do not have the cancer rates (including skin cancer) that we have in North America. These should not be used on babies, and small children, instead avoid the hottest part of the day by staying indoors and wear light colored and light weight clothing. See resources for a quick and simple homemade sunscreen without all the chemical additives.
Tanning Lotions/Oils - Tanning lotions and oils also are chemically created fragrances that often smell like coconuts or coco butter, tropical fragrances designed again to create a specific feeling and make you think of certain things, like palm trees, beaches and summer love. Often times these products also contain a colored dye to increase the darkness of your tan.
Dish Soaps – Even dish soaps are now beginning to come in fragranced options, like green apple. These fragrance creating chemicals can adhere to your dishes (even if you can’t smell them) and when in contact with warm food, be absorbed into that food and therefore ingested.
Glass Cleaners - this line of products is commonly an ammonia based product. Ammonia is very dangerous and toxic, Ammonia based products are very difficult for people who have existing health issues, and can create significant breathing issues, even at small levels, and should not be used around babies, small children, people with MCS, asthma, allergies, headaches, migraines and pets.
Kitchen and Bath Cleaners – Most of these cleaners are very harsh and have serious chemical ingredients. If you read the labels of most, you will find warnings against inhalation, and advise that gloves be worn while using these products. That is because they can often create skin rashes and contact dermatitis, as well as breathing issues when inhaled. They should not be used on surfaces that infants, and children, come in direct contact with.
Furniture Polishes – These products too are harmful to the human body. They contain chemicals that should not be used on furniture that children will be touching with their hands or have direct contact with. They also cause issues for people with asthma, allergies, and MCS. The most common form these cleaners take is a spray. That ensures that the smaller particulate are suspended in the air and are breathed in.
Bug Repellant – DEET is the main component of some of the most common bug repellants. Due to heath concerns, DEET has be banned for use of more than 30% concentration on humans in Canada, and recommends no more than 10% concentration for use on children under the age of 10. This product is also an effective solvent and can dissolve such things as nail polish, some plastics and spandex. DEET has also been shown to be toxic to some fish. This product is an insecticide and is often used in conjunction with other insecticides for non human uses. These products should not be used especially on infants and small children, whose systems are still very vulnerable to interference.