Adverse Effects Of 20 Common Fragrance Materials - Toxic Beauty
Acetaldehyde - linked to asthma, mild irritation of the skin, eye and respiratory tract in humans and gene mutation, developmental and reproductive abnormalities in animal-based studies and possible human carcinogen.
Acetone - central nervous system depressant. has caused endocrine disruption effects in animal studies. Designed as hazardous waste by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At high concentration its vapours can cause central nervous system depression, cardiorespiratory failure and death. Can cause con tact allergies and skin irritation. It is known to be neurotoxic in humans.
Alpha-pinene - an eye, and respiratory irritant that may be absorbed through the skin. Inhalation can cause palpitations, dizziness, nervous disturbances, stupor, chest pain, bronchitis, convulsions, and nephritis ( inflammation of the kidneys). Chronic skin expose can cause benign tumours.
Alpha-terpinol - can adversely affect the central nervous system and cause skin, respiratory and mucous membrane irritation, and gastroenteritis (when ingested) has been known to cause coma, lip lesions, vomiting, bradycardia (abnormally slow heart rate) and low blood pressure when ingested in large amounts. Occupational asthma has been reported.
Benzaldehyde - can cause contact dermatitis, sensitization and central nervous system depression. Can irritate the eyes and respiratory tract. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) found benzaldehyde to be carcinogenic in some studies on mice.
Benzyl Alcohol* - a skin and eye irritant, linked with contact dermatitis, and contact urticaria. Its vapours can irritate the nose and throat. In animal studies it caused lethargy, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, haemorrhaging, liver, kidney and endocrine disruption, reproductive abnormalities and DNA damage, depending on the method of administration and dosage.
Camphor - central; nervous system stimulant. Symptoms from ingestion and skin absorption can include headache, confusion, vertigo, delirium, hallucinations, convulsions and coma. it may cause skin irritation. Camphor crosses the placenta and has been implicated in fetal and neonatal death.
Cinnamal* - a common allergen, which can cause skin sensitization and irritate the skin and mucous membranes. In animal studies cinnamal has caused liver, respiratory, gastrointestinal, reproductive, brain and nervous system effects.
Coumarin* - a skin irritant that can cause contact allergies and photosensitivity. In animal studies reactions to this substance have included lung tumours, blood, liver, brain, nervous, endocrine and respiratory system effects and reproductive abnormalities. It may effect the central nervous system.
Ethanol - can effect the central nervous system, cause moderate eye irritation and drying and cracking of the skin. Designated as hazardous waste by the EPA. Exposure to ethanol via inhalation can result in difficulty breathing, respiratory irritation, headache, drowsiness and fatigue.
Ethyl acetate - can cause irritation of the skin, eyes nose and throat. Acute intoxication can cause impaired motor coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, rapid pulse, sweating and coma.
Eugenol* - can cause contact dermatitis, skin irritation, inhibition of peripheral sensory nerve activity at low doses and result in neurotoxicity at high doses. There is limited evidence of the carcinogenicity of eugenol.
Furfural (2-furaldehyde) - can cause central nervous system depression, skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation, irritant dermatitis and skin sensitization. It is a phototoxic, toxic by inhalation and ingestion and a confirmed animal carcinogen. Occupational exposures have been associated with chronic bronchitis.
Geraniol* - can cause contact allergies and skin irritation. On exposure to the air it has the potential to autoxidize (oxidation in the presence of oxygen) and form incredibly allergenic compounds.
Limonene* - toxic to the immune system and can cause skin and respiratory irritation, sensitization and contact dermatitis. Limonene is very toxic to aquatic organisms and dangerous for the environment according to the EC classification.
Methylene chloride - was banned from hairsprays in 1989 by the FDA but is still found in perfumes. It is considered a hazard waste by the EPA and listed as toxic substance under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act. Direct contact with methylene causes burning and reddening of the skin and corneal burns. Occupational overexposure has caused worker deaths. Acute exposure has caused organ damage and cancer in experimental animals. It can adversely affect the central nervous system and cardiovascular system.
Resorcinol - immune system and potential skin toxicant, with limited evidence of carcinogenicity and endocrine disruption. Can cause contact dermatitis and is irritating to the mucous membranes. It is classified by the EC as harmful if swallowed, irritating to the eyes and skin, very toxic to aquatic organisms and dangerous for the environment. Absorption can cause convulsions and death.
Styrene oxide - harmful if swallowed or inhaled and can cause skin irritation and corrosion and eye irritation. It is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by the national Toxicology Program (NTP), based on evidence of carcinogenicity is experimental animals. It is reported to be a central nervous system depressant.
Toluene - can cause nervous system depression, respiratory irritation and cardiac effects. Designated as hazardous waste by the EPA. High levels can potentially damage the kidneys. It is listed on California's Proposition 65 as a reproductive toxicant. It can be contaminated with the carcinogen benzene.
Vanillin - has irritation and sensitization potential. It is an eye and respiratory tract irritant. Ingestion of high concentrations in animals caused acute toxaemia and death. Long-term inhalation caused toxic effects.
Labelled in the Eu on cosmetic production.
Reference: Toxic Beauty : Dawn Mellowship
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