Serious Dangers of Synthetic Scents Include Asthma, Cancer and Kidney Damage

We’re exposed to synthetic scents everywhere – at home, work, and in public. Even though most people don’t realize it, science shows that fake fragrances can harm your health.

According to research, ingredients found in synthetic scents have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and allergies. In fact, one fragrance can contain thousands of ingredients that are harmful to your health.

What exactly are synthetic scents?

Synthetic scents or fragrances are basically a mixture of different ingredients which include allergens, respiratory irritants, carcinogens, and so on. These fragrances are mostly found in cosmetic products, detergents, cleaning material, air fresheners and so on. In fact, there are high amounts of scents in hair products, over 95 percent of conditioners and shampoos have synthetic scents.

Studies show that most of the chemicals in these products are not listed on the labels.

You’d be surprised to find out that over 50 percent of people interviewed in this study prefer fragrance-free hotels, airplanes, and workplaces.

In the same study, most participants reported experiencing migraines, respiratory problems, skin problems, asthma attacks, and mucosal symptoms when exposed to fragrances.

Unfortunately, the side effects of synthetic scents don’t end there. Here are more dangerous side effects of synthetic scents or fragrances.

Dangerous effects of synthetic scents

Higher risk of cancer

The Breast Cancer Fund says that you can reduce the risk of breast cancer by avoiding synthetic scents. These scents disrupt hormones which consequently increases the risk of cancer.

Some sprays and liquids actually contain styrene (a chemical found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust). This is one of the ingredients that have been linked to cancer.

Birth defects

Research shows that exposure to one common ingredient in fragrances phthalates can cause autism in children. Which means pregnant women should avoid exposure to synthetic scents.

Note that evidence shows, these ingredients will be present in breast milk if you use fragrances during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.

Asthma and breathing problems

Research shows that scents from Cologne can worsen symptoms for people with asthma. Fragrances can also cause breathing problems for normal people.


The allergic reactions caused by synthetic scents include sinus irritation, breathing problems, migraines, skin reactions and so on.

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