What’s That Smell?

Is Fragrance HarmfulDo the intoxicating scents of popular perfumes, cleansers, and personal care products sometimes take your breath away? Although some of these items may smell lovely at first, they just might permanently take your breath away, since the ingredients in fragrance can be extremely harmful to your health. Take steps to incorporate non toxic fragrance in your home and personal products since chemically added fragrances found in food, beverages, cleaners and personal products have long been linked to cancer, allergies, hormone disruption and all sorts of other problems.

Is Fragrance Harmful to Your Health?

In a word, yes. Fragrances are often used to cover up the bad odors from chemicals found in cologne, perfume, food additives, deodorant, makeup, shampoos, cleaners, soap, fabric softeners, air fresheners, candles, scented toilet paper, shower gels, and other products. Types of chemicals used in fragrances often include benzyl benzoate, diethyl phthalate, and tonalide.

Symptoms

Experts have found that damaging side effects of various scents in personal care products continue long after the sweet, spicy or flowery smells have faded. Products infused with fragrance can cause problems such as allergies, bad moods, fatigue, watery eyes, asthma, coughing, dermatitis, eczema, headaches, wheezing, sneezing, and can even alter sexual desire.

Contact allergies caused by fragrances touching your skin can cause symptoms like rashes, bumps, blisters. Since experts have determined that 65% of what is placed on your skin is absorbed by your body, it’s wise to avoid putting any fragrance substances directly on your skin unless you know for sure that it is not harmful.

Certain inhaled chemical fragrances can even make it difficult for some people to breathe. They can irritate airways and can change lung function and lead to inflammation.  A different peer-reviewed study revealed 100% absorption for fragrance ingredients, so it’s wise to avoid breathing chemical laced fragrances if you can help it.

People who already suffer from health problems are particularly at risk to problems with fragrances. However, even if someone doesn’t have a problem right now, symptoms can  develop over time because a body can develop become more sensitive to fragrance inflammation over time.

Good Green Habits for Non Toxic Fragrance For Home

Since your cupboards and cabinets are probably filled with products that contain  fragrances, it can be difficult to determine which one is causing the problem. And, since your body can react slowly and/or over time, fragrance in soap, deodorant, or clothing can be as much of a problem as perfume applied directly.You can still have pleasant scents in your home and personal care products, since there are many natural alternatives.  Here are some ideas to help get you started:

Don’t wear perfume or cologne on a daily basis. If you must wear it, only wear it on special occasions.  And instead of putting it directly on your skin, lightly spray it on the inside of your clothing. (Something to ponder:  If spraying it directly on your clothing can stain or spot your clothing, how can it be good for your body?)  A person’s natural scent has been found to be more seductive and personal anyway. Your dog who adores how you smell!

Avoid product fragrances.  Read labels, buy and use non-fragrance cleaners and personal products as much as possible.

Use your nose.  The stronger and  more “fake” it smells to you, the more likely it’s a cover for chemicals.

Reduce exposure. Decide what you can and cannot live without. You may be surprised at how many scented products you’re using that have absolutely no meaning to you.  You may find you can easily cut back on products with fragrance.

Read ingredients labels. Look for perfumes or essential oils derived from bark, flowers, fruits, seeds leaves and other non-toxic sources. These natural scents and fragrances may only last a few of hours, but they won’t pose the health risks associated with synthetic fragrances. However, remember that extremely sensitive individuals may find botanical extracts can also cause reactions, so proceed with caution.

Be Considerate of Others.  Even if you may not have problems with fragrances right now, someone you’re around could have serious issues with strong odors and fragrance.  What smells good to you may not smell good to them and it may cause health problems for them.  With more and more businesses adopting fragrance free policies in the workplace, people are beginning to understand the dangers of fragrance at work and at home.

 

 

How To Live Green

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It’s usually not the big things that stop us when figuring out how to live green. More likely it is the daily habits that we develop over time. If you have developed some bad green habits, there’s no time like the present to change them. So, how exactly do you live green? It’s a simple two-step process. First, take an honest look at your current habits. Then, find ways to live greener.

Steps to a Greener Lifestyle

Step One ─ Assess Your Habits

Make a list of areas in your life that you can improve. Keep your list short and manageable. Here’s an example:

  • Transportation. Include when and how you get from point A to point B for work, entertainment and errands.
  • Energy Consumption. Include when and how much gas and electricity you consume.
  • Food. Include when, where, and how often you eat in restaurants. Also list your grocery shopping habits, including the amount of food you buy, eat and throw out.
  • Clothes, Electronics and Furniture. Include the types of products you buy and how often you you replace them.
  • Cleaning and Personal Care Products. Include the types of products you buy and how often you replace them.

STEP TWO ─ Green Your Habits

Look at your above list to see your current habits. Usually it’s fairly easy to see where you can make little adjustments to green your habits.  Here are a few samples to help you get started:

  1. Bring your own bags when shopping.
  2. Buy vintage clothing, furniture, electronics and other items. You can find vintage items on Ebay, Craigslist, garage and estate sales, thrift store and at vintage specialty stores.
  3. Call your local garbage company to ask for a current list of items accepted in their recycle program. Post it on your refrigerator.
  4. Carpool whenever you can and work from home when possible.
  5. Compost food and other accepted items through your garbage company and start a compost bin at home.
  6. Do all your shopping at one time instead of making many trips.
  7. Drive your car for long as long as possible instead of replacing it every couple of years.
  8. Keep your vehicle tuned up and in good condition so that it will last a long time, won’t cause air pollution, will consume less gas, and will need fewer repairs in the long run.
  9. Make a list before grocery shopping that includes organic foods (when you can afford them), non-processed foods (foods without chemicals), and foods that use small amounts of packaging.
  10. Pack a waste-free lunch from home for you mid-day meal.
  11. Recycle batteries, paint, oil and other household hazardous waste (toxic materials) through your local garbage company if they offer programs. If they don’t, find a household hazardous waste facility in your area to properly get rid of them.
  12. Remember to use cloth napkins and towels instead of items made from paper or plastic.
  13. Save glass jars from items such jam, pickles, and marinara sauce to reuse as storage containers for food.
  14. Save printer mistakes and use the flip side to make your own tablets.
  15. Split large meals at restaurants when possible or order an item with the intention of eating the leftovers at home. Bring a container from home for leftovers instead of asking for a to-go box.
  16. Shut off, swtich off, turn off whenever possible, for example shut off water, switch off lights, turn off electronics.
  17. Use the internet to listen to music, watch movies, and to read books and magazines.
  18. Avoid impulse purchases by waiting a day before buying non-essential and big-ticket items.

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