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Letters to the Editor

Sun., Feb. 12, 2012

Sniff out fragrances

Stores that “woo customers with scent branding” (Jan. 25), incidentally, are also more than likely exposing them to a number of toxic chemicals.

Lab studies on a number of fragrance products (most notably by Professor Anne Steinemann of the University of Washington) found, typically, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, terpenes such as limonene, also benzene, phthalates, and toluene. These and other ingredients found in air fresheners, etc. have been linked to heart disease, lung disease and cancer. Possibly even worse than these hazardous chemicals is the fact that the federal government allows these products to be marketed with their ingredients unlisted on either labels or material safety data sheets.

It seems that the fragrance industry in this country is committed to secrecy, putting profit above regard for public health and safety, and being given a free ride to boot.

Scientists – Steinemann and others – have done the lab work. The real story on this subject would read more like an exposé, but the news media isn’t showing much interest. Nor, for that matter is the legal community. Why, I’m asking, not?

Del Cameron

Coeur d’Alene

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