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Synthetic fragrances in public spaces a danger to health

Synthetic fragrances are increasingly being used as a marketing tool to create atmosphere and brand awareness. As such these potentially toxic chemical cocktails are being released into the air in enclosed public indoor environments such as shops and shopping centres/malls, hotels, car parks, gyms and even 'health spas'.

These fragrances are often marketed as being natural and healthful which is often more than just a slight bending of the truth. Many such 'natural' scents are in fact wholly synthetic pterochemical concoctions which may act as neurotoxins and are certainly an infringement on the freedoms of people who suffer from multiple chemical sensivitity (MCS).

The FreshAirFiend blog has been investigating this issue lately. Here are two interesting posts on the subject:


These posts make a particularly good point about synthetic fragrances being used in gyms in that when working our respiratory rate and volume of air inhaled increases many fold and exercise is also a stress to the body (and can cause lowered immunity when extreme) - the health dangers are therefore especially high in this setting.

Studies have shown that indoor air is already far more polluted than outdoor air due to use of synthetic chemicals in cleaning products, personal care products, and the like. Do we really need further indoor air pollution from artificial fragrances being used as marketing tools?!

 What are your thoughts on this issue? Have you noticed artificial fragrances being used in this way? If so, where?





About: Matthew Hogg ("Maff")
Diagnosed with M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome aged only 11 years old and subsequently associated illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Despite his own struggles he has constantly sought to educate and support others suffering from such "invisible illnesses" through his website, The Environmental Illness Resource. He fully recovered from MCS using his own approach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Health.