4

votes

Do you think that people who work at bath/body/fragrance type stores are at a high risk of cancer? (constant exposure to fake scents)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 16, 2012 at 3:40 AM

I was on a hunt for a basic teapot today that is made for loose leaf tea. For some reason the ones that are only for teabag use are in style atm. Goodwill was a no go (well I dont like that there is no way to tell if it is ornamental and not meant for food use or not if they aren't labeled!) So on my way back I stumbled across a pier 1 imports. I have NEVER been in one before but I figured they would have something.

I was nearly overwhelmed by that place. I was almost dizzy by all of the glitter, STUFF!!, and of course the scents. Like I had just walked into the girliest of girly rooms if she did nothing but shop all day. Hey to each their own- Im not judging and they did have cute stuff but not my kinda place.

By the time I left new teapot in hand I was actually dizzy and my head hurt. The flashing lights (reflections off all the shiny stuff) and scents did me in I think. I couldnt help but wonder about the employees. Same thing in other bath/body stores. That scent is just extreme! It gets to the point where you cant smell anything but an overpowering chemical cocktail.

Do you think they are at higher risk for cancer? If they were dropping like flies Im sure we would know about it.. but I just cant imagine!

update

After some brief research I have found that fragrance companies are not required to list or disclose ingredients. Does anyone know of a website that lists the ingredients for brand specific air fresheners/home fragrance/scented candles etc?

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on April 16, 2012
at 11:57 PM

I have a hard time figuring out their lighting and reasoning behind it.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on April 16, 2012
at 11:56 PM

-Matt- great response=) I am a chem major right now but am still new enough that I think everything is going to kill me if I mess up. (ok thats a bit extreme) but still. Ps I cyber stalked you a bit and I dig your other questions.=)

6ddb22a034e1a4e3a96d9f1907bb37e2

(302)

on April 16, 2012
at 09:56 PM

I was specifically referring to fragrance chemicals. Just because products contain small amounts doesn't mean it's neccesarily safe. Look at DDT. Once used as a bug spray. http://www.ewg.org/files/SafeCosmetics_FragranceRpt.pdf This above report speaks to this issue much more clearly than I could.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2012
at 07:31 PM

Apparently I'm the only one who remembers that rhyme. :D

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 16, 2012
at 07:18 PM

Nail salons are one thing, perfumes are another. I, as a chemist sitting in a lab right now, smell zero chemical odors. I can walk by the nail salon in the mall and it's analogous to me sticking my nose in a bottle of acetone, it burns, it's awful. Most fragrance compounds are actually rather limited in amount. It doesn't take much 2-Methylundecanal to give chanel no 5 it's smell...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 16, 2012
at 07:09 PM

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/Alpha-santalol.svg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Eugenol_acsv.svg On no, synthetic compounds, or are they? Natural versus synthetic really has nothing to do with it. Natural compounds can cause cancer, and synthetic compounds can be completely inert. The chemical properties are what matter, not the source.

6ddb22a034e1a4e3a96d9f1907bb37e2

(302)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:19 PM

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ Not sure how extensive there list is on home fresheners but should be a good start. As a guide rule of thumbs; things scented with essential oils are safer. Also for candles you want to choose a natural wax such as beeswax and wicks free of tin, lead and zinc.

6ddb22a034e1a4e3a96d9f1907bb37e2

(302)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Chemicals, specifically those that are a petroleum by product. Here's is more specific list http://www.ourlittleplace.com/chemicals.html I am referring to common chain body shops, like those foudnin malls or department stores. Of course natural places such as those making scents from essential oils are less toxic but even those can be toxic and irritating. Natural does not always equal safe.

44739854bd06eb5c32af5d33aa866864

(859)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:35 PM

Here's Mark Sisson's take on Noise, pretty good discussion (as always) and includes citations: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-noise-impacts-your-health/#axzz1sD5WbFqh

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:31 AM

A little vague there. Exposure to 'chemicals'...what..like oxygen? Nitrogen? Carbon? Their is a vast difference between H2O and H2SO4. (As the famous scientist could attest)

D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

(823)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:36 AM

I used to love Pier 1, but I cannot tolerate that stinky stuff. I can't tolerate the cinnamon sprayed pine cones that infest the grocery stores in December. And I can barely walk by one of the dedicated bath/body stores. *gag* But, as below, I think respiratory illness is more likely.

97ffbac59e88bdff6495d0a9b6f70ff7

(555)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:20 AM

could you post some of the noise research if you have it?

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

3
78964c5cc470f86a5897db8e1ce8e6f9

on April 16, 2012
at 04:18 AM

I think they'd be more apt to develop respiratory issues than cancer, per se. As a parrot owner, we have to be very careful about introducing artificial or even strong natural scents into their environment. Humans are less sensitive, or at least can handle higher concentrations, but I think there's still a lesson of caution to be learned.

Consider staying away from plug-in scents, scented candles, and potpourri made with weird ingredients. When I like a little extra good-smelling stuff, I use a water-bath potpourri with cinnamon sticks, dried citrus peel, maybe a drop or two of real vanilla. I may be overly cautious due to our birds, but it's something to think about even in a human-only household. :)

2
6ddb22a034e1a4e3a96d9f1907bb37e2

(302)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:03 AM

Absolutely. There's been some really astounding research with women who work in nail salons and yes there exposure to chemicals makes them more likely to develop cancers and reproductive and developmental disorders.

Here's a link to a site that actually rates and informs consumers on toxicity and specific risks to certain chemicals that are included in I would say at least 90% of all "cosmetic" type product.

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

On that site you can actually enter in commo products and see the score.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2012
at 07:31 PM

Apparently I'm the only one who remembers that rhyme. :D

6ddb22a034e1a4e3a96d9f1907bb37e2

(302)

on April 16, 2012
at 09:56 PM

I was specifically referring to fragrance chemicals. Just because products contain small amounts doesn't mean it's neccesarily safe. Look at DDT. Once used as a bug spray. http://www.ewg.org/files/SafeCosmetics_FragranceRpt.pdf This above report speaks to this issue much more clearly than I could.

6ddb22a034e1a4e3a96d9f1907bb37e2

(302)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Chemicals, specifically those that are a petroleum by product. Here's is more specific list http://www.ourlittleplace.com/chemicals.html I am referring to common chain body shops, like those foudnin malls or department stores. Of course natural places such as those making scents from essential oils are less toxic but even those can be toxic and irritating. Natural does not always equal safe.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on April 16, 2012
at 11:56 PM

-Matt- great response=) I am a chem major right now but am still new enough that I think everything is going to kill me if I mess up. (ok thats a bit extreme) but still. Ps I cyber stalked you a bit and I dig your other questions.=)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:31 AM

A little vague there. Exposure to 'chemicals'...what..like oxygen? Nitrogen? Carbon? Their is a vast difference between H2O and H2SO4. (As the famous scientist could attest)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 16, 2012
at 07:18 PM

Nail salons are one thing, perfumes are another. I, as a chemist sitting in a lab right now, smell zero chemical odors. I can walk by the nail salon in the mall and it's analogous to me sticking my nose in a bottle of acetone, it burns, it's awful. Most fragrance compounds are actually rather limited in amount. It doesn't take much 2-Methylundecanal to give chanel no 5 it's smell...

1
Medium avatar

(2301)

on April 16, 2012
at 09:08 PM

I don't know but I have to hold my breath as I speed walk past Abercrombie and Fitch. I think they literally pump disgusting cologne smell into the store.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on April 16, 2012
at 11:57 PM

I have a hard time figuring out their lighting and reasoning behind it.

1
8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on April 16, 2012
at 07:50 AM

Common sense is it all depends on where those scents come from. Rather they come from a natural pure sorce or a synthetic sorce. I worked in a shop that sold herbs and oils of the natrural type and ironicly I started working there while going through cancer treatment, I beat cancer and had no problem with the scents I had breathed in. Think about women who work in floral shops and breath in the scent of flowers all day. I whole heartedly believe it has to do with the type of scents you breathe, rather they are natural or synthetic.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 16, 2012
at 07:09 PM

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/Alpha-santalol.svg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Eugenol_acsv.svg On no, synthetic compounds, or are they? Natural versus synthetic really has nothing to do with it. Natural compounds can cause cancer, and synthetic compounds can be completely inert. The chemical properties are what matter, not the source.

0
400b249032e4c829c4e802436833ea3b

on February 04, 2013
at 07:15 AM

Yes, because the contaminants in the air end up in their blood and bodily fluids.

0
4dda29dc4fbada49bd68a6fbd76bf40c

on April 16, 2012
at 06:58 PM

If you think such things can cause cancer.. you really don't understand the mechanisms behind cancer. A properly functioning body does not get cancer.

0
F20ff78378b9ceb355f2795577333713

on April 16, 2012
at 04:08 AM

I can't speak to scents, but there is research to show that overwhelming and constant noise (hello, major cities) causes major stress and its attendant health problems. I could see where an overwhelming smell might similarly confuse the body into some kind of defensive position causing similar damage.

44739854bd06eb5c32af5d33aa866864

(859)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:35 PM

Here's Mark Sisson's take on Noise, pretty good discussion (as always) and includes citations: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-noise-impacts-your-health/#axzz1sD5WbFqh

97ffbac59e88bdff6495d0a9b6f70ff7

(555)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:20 AM

could you post some of the noise research if you have it?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!