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Perfumed consumer goods are increasingly becoming a health problem
Today, many perfumed consumer goods are used in the households of the population. But what effects do fragrances have on human health? Researchers have now found that perfumed consumer goods are a primary source of indoor air pollutants and can have a negative impact on our health.
The University of Melbourne researchers found that scented consumer goods such as cleaning agents, air fresheners and personal care products are among the main sources of indoor air pollutants. The exposure to these pollutants can have negative effects on human health. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health".
Study examines fragrance health effects
The current study was the first of its kind to address the variety of fragrance exposures, the authors explain. The doctors examined the associated effects on our health. The data required for this was collected using an online survey. Australian experts added that more than 1,100 volunteers participated in the study. All kinds of products in our households contain fragrances. For example, detergents, children's toys, and some personal care products contain the harmful fragrances. Physicians have already warned that we should be careful with fragrances in cosmetics. Of course, some chemical air fresheners also contain harmful fragrances.
The effects of fragrances lead to sick days or job loss
The experts tried to find out whether people favor the use of fragrances in public buildings and at home, or whether test subjects prefer a fragrance-free environment. About 34 percent of the population complain of health problems when exposed to perfumed products. These problems included, for example, migraine headaches and respiratory diseases, the doctors explain. In addition, over 15 percent of people reported that they had already missed a number of working days or even lost their jobs due to exposure to fragrance products in the workplace.
Many people demand that public buildings should be free of fragrances
About 20 percent of the participants said that if they noticed air fresheners or the smell of fragrances, they would leave a store as soon as possible. Over 50 percent of the population would prefer that workplaces, health facilities, hotels and airplanes be free of fragrances, the authors explain.
Most people are not aware of the danger posed by fragrances
Previous research has found that the usual perfumed consumer goods emit dangerous air pollutants, but more than two thirds of the population have no knowledge of them. Over 60 percent of people would not use fragrance products if they were aware of the dangers of the contained pollutants, the authors speculate. Most parents are also unlikely to know that toys can affect their children's health. Some time ago, other studies showed that an allergy risk from children's toys is more widespread than previously thought. This is due, for example, to chemical fragrances contained in dolls and teddy bears.
Reducing fragrance pollution improves air quality and overall health
The results of the current study provide strong evidence that fragrances can have negative health effects in the general population. Reducing exposure to fragrance products could be an inexpensive and relatively easy way to reduce health risks and improve air quality and health, the researchers explain. (as)