Everyone deserves to live in a healthy and safe environment. That environment includes where you live, work, play, and pray. We reject and actively push back against racist rhetoric, actions, policies and institutional oppression that leads to state-sanctioned brutality, gun violence, and harm that again and again assaults communities, particularly communities of color. We are committed to working for justice and equity, and are in solidarity with social, racial, and environmental justice organizations to build community, understanding and honest dialogue to address the root causes of violence, harm and hate.

Take the Fragrance-Free Pledge!

fragrance-free pledge

Take the Fragrance-Free Pledge!

Beth Conway head shot

Beth Conway
Communications Director

Fragrance scents can be found in almost anything: cleaners, personal care products, perfume, tampons and pads, air fresheners, and even baby pacifiers … the list is endless! And unfortunately, these fragrances are exposing us to thousands of chemicals, some of which are toxic, and many of which are known allergens, like limonene and linalool. What’s more – all fragrance chemicals are usually kept secret from the public. Frustrated? Me too!

Take the fragrance-free pledge today – CLICK HERE!

We know this pledge is tricky. Fragrance is everywhere. But until we have 100% full fragrance ingredient disclosure, and until we know those ingredients are safe, we can reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals by choosing fragrance-free options when available. Even by eliminating one fragranced product from our daily routine (whether this is a lotion, detergent, air freshener, shampoo or dryer sheet) means we’re taking important steps to avoid chemicals linked to allergies, hormone imbalance and increased risk of breast cancer.

The Problem with Fragrance

Fragrance chemicals like synthetic musks and phthalates, for example, have been detected in blood, urine and fat tissue in nearly every human tested. The levels of these chemicals in our bodies appear to be linked to the amounts of fragranced products we use. For example, one study found that greater use of fragranced laundry detergent during pregnancy led to significantly higher levels of synthetic musks in the woman’s breast milk. Women can pass these chemicals on to developing children when they breast feed. Another study found higher levels of musks in the blood of women who regularly used fragranced body lotion, deodorant and perfumes. i

Fragrance Safety … Stinks

Considering we are exposed to fragrance every day, it’s shocking that there are very few regulations over the ingredients used in fragrance. The current system for fragrance safety is run entirely by the fragrance industry — and when this self-regulating program is green-lighting chemicals like phthalates, carcinogens and allergens, we have some major questions regarding the integrity of its safety standards.


Take the Fragrance-Free Pledge! You’ll reduce your exposure to unnecessary toxic chemicals – and you’ll also help send a powerful message to manufacturers that you want safe products and have the right to know exactly what’s in the products you bring into your homes. Click here!

Tips on avoiding fragranced products:

  • Read labels for the term “fragrance” or “perfume”. And remember, “unscented” does not necessarily mean fragrance-free. Fragrance chemicals are often used to mask natural scents in “unscented” products like deodorant and soap.
  • Check out our alternatives to fragranced cleaning products. Get the “clean” smell without the toxic chemicals.

In addition, there are several things that need to happen to help ensure the safety of fragrance ingredients:

  • Federal and state legislation is needed that requires product-specific disclosure of fragrance ingredients.
  • In the meantime, manufacturers should voluntarily disclose fragrance ingredients on a product-specific basis. Some manufacturers like Procter & Gamble,  SC Johnson & Son, RB, and Clorox have already begun to disclose more fragrance ingredients.
  • Manufacturers should develop and disclose their comprehensive toxic chemical screening process which details how they ensure the safety of their products, including their fragranced products.


i. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18800558

8 Responses

  1. Susie

    You gals might wish to team up with Vani Hari, who’s putting pressure on food manufacturer’s to get junk oils & toxic ingredients out of food products.

  2. Ann Fonfa

    I realized I had become Chemically sensitive back in 1989. It is a horrible illness that is hard to live with and hard to recover from. But after I was treated with first dose of Chinese herbs for breast cancer (diagnosed in Jan 1993) , the MCS symptoms changed completely and I subjectively felt that the intensity of my reactions also reduced.

  3. Judy

    I developed chemical sensitivity after getting exposed to the secretary’s perfumed lotion (Bath & Body Works) , at the county health department where I worked as a RN . I tried to recover from it but it wasn’t getting any better so I had to leave my job without compensation. I talked to human resources but they didn’t give me any alternatives. That was over 2 years ago and I still have multiple chemical sensitivity . I had not used any toxins or fragrances in my home for many years before that. Please don’t wear fragrance you may cause someone else to develop a devastating condition that they can’t recover from .

  4. Wendy

    Fraganced products and chemicals are the bain of my life!
    I started getting MCS 24 years ago. It is so bad now that i cannot socialise or work with other people.
    Fragrance is eveywhere! Companies are profiting via making (ignornat) people sick.
    I live in New Zealand and even going to our public hospital is a huge issue for me because so many of the women that work there (nurses, doctors, admin) wear fragrances to work!! I was in hospital recently due to an allergic reaction whereby my glands and throat became swollen. Whilst there i had to wear a mask because two of the nurses that were seeing to me, were wearing perfume!
    Society is fragrance crazy…and many are paying a life altering, depressing price for it.

  5. Joanna

    That’s true, these toxins harm you and those around you like children, family members and even co-workers.

  6. Diana

    I shared this post on my fb page relating how I became aware in 1978 of the adverse reaction to my neurological system I
    was experiencing from chemical odors includes “fragrances”. Thank you WVE for taking up this cause, it’s been a long time coming.

  7. John

    Wow! I thought these fragrance issues were much better in N.Z. Often doctors and nurses are wearing tons of perfume/cologne w/o regard for their patients. Truly a dis-connected medical system.

  8. a Jensen

    I pledge to go fragrance free I have sensitive skin. Chemicals dyes and perfumes. Should not be in beauty or skin care products

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