But even though you wouldn’t think of spraying perfume on your little one, she may be exposed to a lot of other chemical fragrances that you might not be so aware of, in lotions, shampoos, air fresheners, cleaners, and other products, as well as your own perfume when you have all of that adorable skin-to-skin contact.
Bottom line: stay away from chemical fragrances.
The issue that some experts have with the cosmetics industry is that there seems to be a lot of secrecy when it comes to figuring out exactly what’s inside products that are labeled with the word “fragrance.” In fact, lab tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 name brand fragrance products—some chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many that haven’t been tested for safety in personal care products.
It’s basically a big loophole in the way that personal products are packaged, so manufacturers are allowed to lump some ingredients together in the generic category of “fragrance,” without disclosing what they actually are.
Need more proof? Here’s more info on the risks of a few popular fragrance ingredients:
A recent EWG study found Galaxolide and Tonalide, two synthetic musks, in the cord blood of newborn babies (EWG 2009). Both musks contaminate people and the environment worldwide, have been associated with toxicity to the endocrine system (van der Burg 2008) and were identified in the majority of products tested for this study. Similarly, a pregnant woman’s use of some fragrances and other cosmetics frequently may expose her growing fetus to diethyl phthalate (DEP), a common perfume solvent linked to abnormal development of reproductive organs in baby boys and sperm damage in adult men (Washington Toxics Coalition 2009).
So, the short answer to your question? Try to avoid synthetic fragrances as much as you can around your child. There are enough natural delicious-smelling products you can put on your body that don’t come with all the risks. Take our Overtired & Cranky spray, for example, which uses natural ingredients like Chamomile, tangerine, and sweet orange instead of synthetic fragrances. Sweet and safe.