Facts About Fragrances


There are 3,000 – 5,000 chemicals used in fragrance.1

95% of these chemicals are derived from petroleum.1

Over 80% of the chemicals in fragrance have not been tested for human toxicity.1

Some of the chemicals found in fragranced products are on the EPA hazardous waste list.1-2

The perfume industry is not regulated by any government agency and is not required to disclose the ingredients in “fragrance”.1

The National Academy of Sciences targeted fragrances as one of the six categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing.1


Personal Care Products to Avoid


Perfume and Cologne

All Scented Products - including soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and bath products

Scented Lotions

Scented Shaving Cream, Aftershave

Scented Deodorants and Anti-Perspirants

Scented Shampoo and Conditioner, Hair Spray, Hair Gel and Mousse, and Hair Color

Scented Nail Polish and Remover

Scented Make-up

Scented Anti-Bacterial Hand Wipes or Hand Sanitizer

Other Scented Toiletries


Personal Care Products to Use Instead


Scent - use essential oils if tolerated or eliminate perfume

Fragrance Free Products - soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and bath products

Lotion - use unscented versions or natural oils such as jojoba, coconut, and olive oil

Shaving Cream - soap

Aftershave - witch hazel or hydrogen peroxide

Deodorant - peroxide, natural salt crystal, baking soda, unscented deodorants

Hair Styling - aloe vera gel, lemon juice

Hair Color - natural variations, peroxide to bleach, all natural henna for color

Shampoo / Conditioner - unscented variations, baking soda, vinegar, citric acid, oils

Nail Polish and Remover - safer variations from a health food store or go au natural

Make-up - unscented, natural variations or go au natural




1.  Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA).  Fragrance Free! Creating a Safe Health Care Environment.  2007.


2.  Steinemann AC. Fragranced consumer products and undisclosed ingredients.  Environ Impact Asses Rev (2008), doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2008.05.002.


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Why Go Perfume Free to Church?


Government Regulations


U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fragrance Free Policy (Page 9, Item C)


Minnesota HB 2148, "Fragrance-Free Schools Pilot Project,"




EPA Fragrance Ingredient List


EPA Toxic Reference Database (to search by name of ingredient)


FMA Air Freshener Fragrance Ingredient Survey Results, March 2009 (PDF File)




Fragrance Alters Mood and Brain Chemistry - Health Risks and Environmental Issues


Fragrance Chemicals as Toxic Substances




Fragranced Products Information Network


Sample Policies


Challenge Charter School, Glendale, Arizona




Steinemann, AC et all.  Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health (2011).

Chemical Emissions from Residential Dryer Vents During Use of Fragranced Laundry Products


Steinemann AC. Environ Impact Asses Rev (2008), doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2008.05.002.

Fragranced consumer products and undisclosed ingredients


Steinemann AC. 2008.  Environ Impact Asses Rev  REVISED 8/2010
Toxic Chemicals in Fragranced Laundry Products and Health Effects REVISED8-2010

Steinemann AC. 2008.  Environ Impact Asses Rev REVISED 8/2010

Toxic Chemicals in Air Fresheners and Health Effects REVISED8-2010




Massachusetts Nursing Association Webinar:  "Fragrance Free!  Creating a Safe Healthcare Environment"


Breathe Easier: Hold the Fragrances (PowerPoint)

"When you choose to use fragrances, chemicals, or pesticides, You are not simply making a choice for yourself, You are making a choice for everyone around you."  MCS America

This site is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the examination, diagnosis and treatment of a licensed physician and no such claims are inferred.  MCS America will not be responsible for misuse of this information or the misuse of any information provided by it’s member organizations.  Articles, citations, links and information are not necessarily the opinion of MCS America and printing does not constitute endorsement.



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