Can Perfume Cause Birth Defects?

Can perfume cause birth defectsThere has been talk among some scientists over the years that phthalates may be linked to reduced sperm, DNA damage, and hormonal changes. You may ask, “What are Phthalates?” Phthalates are chemicals added to shower curtains, rubber ducks and toys, air fresheners, cosmetics, perfumes, and the list goes on and on. They help cosmetics and perfumes feel silky and smooth. According to The American Chemistry Council, phthalates have become essential to scented products since they help fragrances last longer. According to Stacey Malkan, author of Just not Another Pretty Face The Ugly side of the Beauty industry, loopholes in federal law allow the cosmetics industry to put phthalates into beauty products without testing and no required labeling. The report found undisclosed phthalates in 72 products that were tested. The perfume Poison by Dior contained the most.

In my twenties, I was the girl that chased people around the store spritzing perfume. Fragrance has been used for many years to invoke feelings of harmony. Advertisers would have us believe a beautiful bottle of perfume will help you get the right guy and end up with a glamorous career. I love to smell “pretty”, but at what cost? Are we jeopardizing the health of ourselves and children in the process?

Scientist Shanna Swan studied the urine of 106 mothers during pregnancy. She later examined the babies at 12months. Boys whose mothers had the highest phthalate levels were more likely to have smaller penises and undescended testicles. Other studies have been conducted in animals. These tests suggest that phthalates can interfere with sex hormones. You can find the entire article at USA Today: Exposure to chemical may affect genitals of baby boys.

The Environmental Working Group( conducted a study and found phthalates along with other hormone disruptors in the urine of teenage girls aged 14-19. When scientist Jane Houlihan first started researching cosmetics for EWG, she found that several beauty products contained phtalates, but were not listed on the label as an ingredient.

So what can you do? For starters you can make your own perfume using all natural essential oils. You can buy fragrance that has signed the compact for safe cosmetics and are listed as safe on EWG’s Skin Deep data base

My favorite phthalate and paraben free fragrance line is from
I have tried two yummy, fruity scents: Hawaiian Ruby Guava and Tuscan Blood Orange. I also like two earthy blends: Mexican Cocoa and Tibetan Mountain Temple. I prefer the fragrance spray and body butters,but they also make a solid perfume. The price is good too $22.00 for a small spray and less than $20.00 for a body butter.

Try this simple recipe to make your own uplifting blend:

For some of the finest organic essential oils I use you can also find spray and dropper bottles here.

6 drops of Lavender essential oil
6 drops of grapefruit essential oil
4 drops of tangerine essential oil

Combine drops of each oil in a glass bottle with one once of 100 proof vodka.
Let blend age a few weeks in a dark place, then enjoy!

Published by Kate Pietrowski, RN, L.Ac.

Kate Pietrowski, RN, L.Ac. is a fitness instructor, weight loss consultant, acupuncturist, nurse, and a health/wellness advocate. As a nurse she worked at the University of Pennsylvania, Friends Hospital, and Bayada. Her nursing experience includes working in mental health/addictions, cardiology, rheumatology, women’s health, and general medicine. As a fitness instructor, Kate has taught a wide spectrum of group fitness classes, trained clients one on one, and worked at a wellness center at the FBI. Kate’s been studying health, nutrition, herbal medicine, and holistic studies for over 20 years.

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