Perfume is particularly dangerous to the environment because of the number of synthetic fragrances that one perfume contains. Each perfume can contain dozens or hundreds of fragrances that evaporate into the air, causing environmental problems. Most of these chemicals are derived from petrochemicals. About 95 percent of the chemicals used to make perfume come from fossil fuels, which is dangerous to the environment when being extracted and transported.
The Environmental Dangers
The Health Risks
Some people will go to drastic measures to smell good, dowsing themselves in perfume before walking out the door. However, what many people do not know are the risks that are involved with smelling nicely. Perfume contains various harmful chemicals that are not only toxic to the environment, but to the human body. Perfumes can contain over 500 harmful chemicals such as ethanol, acetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, a-pinene, acetone, benzyl alcohol, and ethyl acetate. These chemicals effect the body by causing irritability, mental vagueness, muscle pain, asthma, bloating, joint aches, sinus pain, fatigue, sore throat, eye irritation, gastrointestinal problems, laryngitis, headaches, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, coughing, and burning or itching skin irritations.
Even more harmful are some chemicals such as Acetaldehyde, which is a carcinogen, and Toluene, which is a neurotoxin that can result in loss of muscle control, brain damage, headaches, memory loss, and problems associated with speech, hearing, and vision. Even more frightening is the fact that the production of perfume is very little regulated, with the FDA not requiring that manufacturers prove their products are safe. It appears as though the price of smelling good is a costly one.
Most perfumes contain the toxic chemicals found on the hazard waste lists released by the Environmental Protection Agency. If these chemicals get into the environment through wastewater, sewage, or evaporation, they are very dangerous to fish and contaminate the water supply that humans drink from. If they get into the drinking water supply, they can cause serious side effects. Because of these environmental risks, along with health risks, it is important to stay away from harmful perfumes to help preserve a healthy planet.