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Are Perfumes Making You Sick?

Part 2: Alternatives to Fragrance Chemicals

In Part 1 we discussed the dangerous fragrance chemicals in everyday products, and the symptoms of chemical overload called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or MCS. In this article, we'll discuss easy, healthful alternatives to toxic chemicals.

By following these guidelines, you'll not only feel better and reduce your risk of developing cancer. You'll also show kindness and courtesy for others, help reduce industrial pollution, and save money while you create a safer home and work place. Interested? Read on...

Switch to natural cosmetics, hair-care and personal products. You want products without parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. You'll be reducing your exposure to chemicals that cause cancer, lowered sperm counts and birth defects. Your hair and skin will become noticibly healthier. The companies listed in this link have pledged not to use carcinogens and endocrine disruptors in their products: The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Switch to natural perfume oils made from genuine essential oils and absolutes. Most perfumes and colognes, no matter how expensive, are loaded with carcinogens, neurotoxins and toxic waste chemicals. Take time to read labels and be cautious of any label that says "fragrances" or "blended fragrances". While some of those products might be safe, most of them will contain synthetics.

A good store will provide inexpensive perfume samples so that you can test your reactions before buying a full bottle. If you're switching to natural perfumes because someone around you is sensitive to fragrances, take the samples to that person and let them see how they feel.

Switch to non-toxic laundry and cleaning products. Quality brands include Seventh Generation and Natural Choices. Use baking soda instead of scouring powders. Bronner's Liquid Soaps from the natural food store are inexpensive and work well for dishes and many other uses. Plain old white vinegar disinfects as well as bleach and makes a wonderful cleaner for floors, countertops and mirrors. It even kills mold!

Stop using fabric softener and dryer sheets altogether! These products are some of the most dangerous of all. They are often the worst trigger for people with MCS, affecting them from several rooms away. They coat your clean, newly washed fabrics with carcinogens, neurotoxins and toxic waste chemicals that have warnings to avoid skin contact and inhalation of their vapors. You will need to clean your dryer with vinegar and wash your clothes repeatedly with Borax to remove the fabric softener residue.

Throw away your paraffin candles- scented or otherwise. Paraffin candles are made from the sludge at the bottom of oil refinery barrels. When they burn, the black smoke they emit is essentially diesel exhaust! Use natural, honey-scented beeswax candles instead. Beeswax candles create healthful negative ions that actually clean the air! While they cost more initially, they burn much longer than paraffin, with a brighter flame.

Replace your air fresheners with Natural Essential Oils. The fragrances in air fresheners come from petrochemicals, not nature. Using them creates a steady cloud of toxic fumes in your home. Real essential oils smell wonderful and also provide aromatherapy benefits. You can use essential oils with lightbulb scent rings, electric diffusers, and candle warmers with beeswax candles.

Use fragrance-free cat litter. Fragrances from cat litters can pervade your entire home and cling to your clothing. Think of how bad they are for your little kitty, with her face so close to the litter. The best alternative (according to this author and her four cats) is a litter by ExquisiCat called Advanced Scoop Paper Formula. Made from recycled paper, it has terrific odor-control, looks and feels like clay, and clumps safely without bentonite. Out of the many they have tried, this one performs the best.

A steady barrage of thousands of fragrance chemicals numbs your sense of smell. Once you stop using those products you will actually regain your ability to smell, and feel more connected to nature. To your health!

About the Author:

Siri Amrit Kaur Khalsa has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and is a cancer survivor. She started Tigerflag Natural Perfumery at http://www.tigerflag.com/ to give people a safe alternative to toxic fragrances. You can find more information about natural perfumery and MCS by visiting her Info page at http://www.tigerflag.com/info.html .

You may print or publish this article as long as you use it in its entirety, with credit to the author and Tigerflag Natural Perfumery, LLC.
First published 07/29/2006. | Tell a Friend

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