Using Synthetic Scents? Think Again!

Using Synthetic Scents? Think Again!

Looking at the developments in the world today, it is obvious that the developed nations are turning towards healthier and safer options that also take in the essential issue of safety of the environment as well.

Many activities of the day to day life have a number of options and there is an increased focus on making plus providing health-friendly options where ever possible.

Consequently, staying healthy in life is getting easier. For example, there have recently been a lot of changes in traveling – one of the activities where the majority of people find it hard to look after their health.

The changes in big airports are quite visible. Many of the busy airports in the United States and the world have installed water bottle filling stations.

This step will not only protect every person from the dangers of bottled water but will help with lessening land pollution due to the dumping of the excess plastic bottle due to a reduced number of people buying them in the first place.

In addition, many airports and even gas station pitstops have started offering healthy and organic snacks for diet conscious people. One can now literally find anything like organic, gluten-free, lactose intolerant friendly, nuts, and fruits.

Apparently, treadmills and exercise bikes have also been installed at many terminals!

However, there is one problem that a person can face while traveling and might even have a dangerous reaction because of it especially if he/she has allergies.

A good number of people suddenly get nausea, headache, asthma attack, and fatigue soon after stepping into a vehicle. Is it just something in the head? No. These are very real symptoms of fragrance exposure.

RELATED: 5 Effective Natural Therapies For Seasonal Allergies

Synthetic scents are used widely by people, especially taxi drivers in order to keep the bad odors away. They are indeed highly effective and absorb the bad or mixed smells in the car quickly.

However, there are many studies that show the hazardous effects of using synthetic smells, one of which can be seen in a study held by the National Academy of Sciences showed that about 95% of the scents are derived directly from petroleum.

So, why is it that many of the drivers in taxis feeling absolutely nothing while the person getting in the car is feeling overwhelmed by the scents?

This is because the drivers sitting in cars filled with synthetic scents gradually become desensitized and can no longer feel the scents no matter how strong they are. This is called olfactory fatigue.

In addition to the fragrances affecting people with sensitivity to chemicals, various studies have outlined why anyone should not be using synthetic scents.

Synthetic fragrances typically have an unidentified mixture of chemicals. The ingredients might even include carcinogens, allergens, neurotoxic chemicals, endocrine disruptors, reproductive toxicants, and respiratory irritants.

Some of the effects and symptoms of synthetic fragrances may not even be visible. The chemicals in them also have a number of lesser-known effects such as dermatitis, diarrhea, ventricular fibrillation, and earaches.

A study conducted in 2016 by the world-renowned researchers Anne Steinemann found that more than half of the population preferred fragrance- free airplanes, workplaces, hospitals and hotel as 34% of them experienced at least one side effect upon fragrance exposure.

Read Anne Steinemann’s frequently asked questions section for more details here.

The study also found that the most common signs of a fragrance exposure are headaches, skin problems, neurological and focus problems, asthma attacks, and migraines.

The survey in the research also pointed out that 20% of the people preferred leaving a store as soon as possible because of synthetic scents.

Another good reason to not sit in a taxi loaded with synthetic scent or not using them in the car is the presence of Volatile organic compounds in them. Steinemann’s team found that a product contained 17 VOCs on average.

One of the most disturbing VOC found in most of the synthetic scents was benzene or better known as toxic tailpipe exhaust pollutions which are also known to be carcinogenic.

The synthetic scents are not even required to list all of the ingredients so it might be not possible to find one without the harmful chemicals in it. It is better to ditch it all together and try safer products in the light of the latest studies.





Andrea White

As a graduate of Public Health and Policy, Andrea developed an interest in disease development, food and safety and the latest advancements in health. She is a Freelance writer who had affiliations with multiple blogs. Andrea is now pursuing her post-doctorate in Behavioral Sciences.

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