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Is Fragrance A Bad Thing?

Written by: Clare Cogan, Customer Experience @Blueland

September 29, 2019

What Is Fragrance?

The term fragrance does not just refer to a particular scent. Fragrance is every ingredient that goes into making a scent. Some fragrances are made up of synthetic ingredients, some are derived from organic ingredients like essential oils and some use both. A scent can be made from anywhere between 50 and 300 ingredients. Fragrance is a blanket label for all of the different ingredients that go into a scent. When you look at the label for a scented product, you will typically only see the word fragrance listed.

Is Fragrance Bad For Me?

That depends. There are many ingredients in fragrances that are associated with negative health effects, but there are also many fragrances that are safe. The difficult part with fragrance is knowing which ingredients are safe and which might cause harm. In the U.S., products that contain fragrances do not have to disclose what ingredients are in that fragrance. As long as a product has the word “fragrance” on the label, the product is compliant with federal regulations, despite there being over 4,000 ingredients that can be used to make fragrances. A lot of the ingredients are safe, but there are specific ingredients to avoid when you choose a product that contains fragrance, but you might not know they are hidden in your product.

Many fragrances are made with chemicals that have known allergens and are documented to have negative health impacts. Fragrances that contain phthalates and styrene should be avoided, as they have documented health concerns, like headaches, migraines and respiratory issues. Some fragrances contain chemicals that are known allergens and contain skin and eye irritants. However, not all fragrances are bad. There are plenty of non-allergen-containing ingredients in fragrances. The best way to tell? Read the labels. Labels that only list the word “fragrance” make it difficult for consumers to understand the ingredients.

Why Do Products Have Fragrances?

Many products contain fragrances so that your home, skin, hair or furniture smell the way you want them to. There is nothing wrong with wanting a pleasant scent! Fragrances do not impact the efficacy of the product, they are just an added bonus for consumers.

Do Blueland Products Contain Fragrance?

At Blueland, we like a nice smelling home as much as anyone else! We used naturally-derived synthetic fragrances when the alternative ingredients included known allergens. Our fragrances don’t contain phthalates and our formulation received the Platinum Material Health Certificate from Cradle to Cradle. We’re not able to load essential oils into dry tablets at this time, but we’re definitely working on it as well as exploring fragrance free options!

Our Powder Dish Soap, Dishwasher tablets and Laundry tablets are unscented. For our cleaning sprays, our Glass + Mirror cleaner is unscented while the other two have a light scent (Fresh Lemon for the Multi-Surface and Eucalyptus Mint for the Bathroom). Our foaming hand soap is offered in 3 scents: Iris Agave, Perrine Lemon, Lavender Eucalyptus. The fragrance is formulated to avoid known allergens which is why our fragrances are a blend of natural and synthetic ingredients. Synthetic ingredients were used when the natural source is known to have allergens.


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