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’ve been preaching about the negative side effects of fragrance oils and phthalates for some time now. But for many people the message is just hitting home today with the release a study in the February edition of Pediatrics.

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The study’s lead author, Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a University of Washington pediatrician, has finally brought the issue of the dangers of phthalates to the main stream media. The study as been reported all day on the news networks like the Fox News, ABC, and the Washington Post. Even the critics are talking about the study at the PR Newswire.


Phthalates are used in the cosmetic industry as fixatives to hold fragrances. Most fragrance oils on the market contain phthalates in order to insure that the scent will linger on the skin and clothes longer. We are exposed to phthalates everyday. Phthalates are found in most commercial fragrances that are not 100% pure unadulterated essential oils. Your family is exposed to phthalates in: commercial air fresheners, plug-in air fresheners, laundry and household products, baby products, perfumes, cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, shower gels and much more. In order to avoid phthalates you must avoid adding fragrance oils to your products or purchase phthalate-free fragrances.


Some believe we should wait for more studies to come out to determine the exact extent of the dangers of phthalates. I believe consumers have learned their lesson with waiting for more studies to prove the dangers in the case of cigarettes. Why risk waiting for more studies when the only purpose to use phthalates in cosmetics is as a fixative or adhesive for fragrance? Babies don’t need to smell like their lotion, shampoo, diaper ointment or laundry soap all day long, and neither do we. All companies should demand the removal of phthalates from fragrance chemicals or switch to unadulterated essential oils. Despite significant evidence from many studies, Stephanie Kwisnek, a spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration, said that the FDA “has no compelling evidence that phthalates pose a safety risk when used in cosmetics. Should new data emerge, we will inform the public as well as the industry.” (Associated Press)


Consumers have the power to change the cosmetic industry as proven by the public outcry for paraben-free products, which did transform the industry from the outside in. In the coming months I expect that consumers will become more educated on this subject and demand “phthalate free” products. This will not only change the way consumers read baby product labels, but how they look at all cosmetic, personal care and household product labels. With a peek into the mysterious ingredients hidden behind the term “fragrance oils”, consumers will wonder what other ingredients are going undisclosed. Now is the time to transition your product line to be either “fragrance free” or scented with only 100% pure unadulterated essential oils.

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