manilla times - Perfumes harmful for health and fragrances toxicity

Manila Times Tuesday Feb. 15 2005

36 perfumes carry ‘scent
of death,’ says Greenpeace

By Ronnie Calumpita, Reporter

The next time your boyfriend or girlfriend gives you perfume as a Valentine gift, think twice—he or she might be giving you a scent of “death.”

The environmental group Greenpeace said Monday that at least 36 well-known perfume brands contain chemicals that are hazardous to health and the environment.

At a press briefing at the Chicken Bacolod Restaurant in Quezon City, Francis de la Cruz, Greenpeace Southeast Asia toxics campaigner, said that phtalate esters and synthetic musks—two toxic man-made chemicals—are contained in several perfumes.

“These chemicals are known to be persistent and they intensify once they enter the body by inhaling or through the skin,” he said.

“It’s not acute poisoning but it’s chronic, it stays in our system and accumulates in the fatty tissues of living organisms,” he added.

De la Cruz said phthalate has been found to have bad effects on the DNA, male sperm and restricts lung function in men. Synthetic musks can attack living tissues, he said.

The perfumes containing these toxic agents, he said, are CK One, Eternity for Men and Eternity for Women of Calvin Klein, Boss in Motion of Hugo Boss; Envy Me of Gucci, Blue Polo of Ralph Lauren, True Star of Tommy Hilfiger, She of Armani, Chnace and No. 5 of Chanel, Floral Dream of Adidas, Cinema of Yves Saint Laurent and Sunset of Naomi Campbell.

Greenpeace randomly selected 36 brands of perfume for a quantitative analysis for phtalates and synthetic musks at the Netherlands laboratory, TNO Environment and Geosciences, which conducted the study from 2003 to 2004.

De la Cruz said Greenpeace has started meeting the manufacturers of these perfumes to discuss how these hazardous chemicals can be phased out of their products.

“Other ingredients that are not harmful can serve as substitutes,” he said.

Greenpeace will coordinate with the Bureau of Food and Drugs to regulate the entry of the “toxic” perfumes.

“The bureau should make the adjustments on perfumes with hazardous chemicals once the regulation is passed in Europe,” de la Cruz said.

Note: the complete list includes:

Floral Dream by Adidas, In Leather by Aigner, Aqua Naturale, Emporio Armani by Armani, White Musk, Eau de Parfum by The Body Shop and High Speed by Bogner, BLV Notte by Bulgari, CK One for Men, Eternity for Men and Eternity for Women by Calvin Klein, Le Baiser Du Dragon by Cartier, Chance No. 5 by Chanel, Poison and Pure Poison by Christian Dior, Him by FCUK, Fiorucci Loves You, Envy Me by Gucci, Boss by Hugo Boss, My Manifesto by Isabella Rosellini, Classique and Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier, Nightlife by Joop!, Iris Blue by Melvita, Waterlove by Mexx, Sunset by Naomi Campbell, XS Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne, and Jamaica Man and Jamaica Woman by Puma.

(List published on page A4 of the Feb. 28, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)