A loophole in a 37-year-old federal law allows makers of perfumes, colognes, and body sprays to conceal the chemicals that comprise the fragrances
---and some of those unidentified odor creators may be harmful to public health, according to two advocacy groups.
Laboratory analysis was performed on 17 best-selling fragrance products, with tests revealing that the products together contained 38 chemicals not listed on product labels, reported AOL News today
At the top of the list was American Eagle Seventy Seven with 24 secret chemicals. Chanel's Coco had 18 and Britney Spears Curious and Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio have 17, according to AOL News
. View the list of offenders at AOL News.
"Every product we tested contains a mixture of secret chemical compounds not listed on the labels," Jane Houlihan, senior vice president for research for Environmental Working Group
, told AOL News
Worrisome for advocacy groups is that several of the undisclosed chemicals, including diethyl phthalate and musk ketone, contain hazardous properties or have a propensity to accumulate in human tissues.
Fragrances are not the only products that may contain undisclosed chemicals that can be hazardous. Many shampoos, lotions, bath products, cleaning sprays, and laundry detergents, contain ingredients that are not disclosed on packaging.
The Fragrance Materials Association of the United States
(FMA) disagrees with the study's findings. "There is nothing 'secret' about the ingredients being used in fragrances," according to a statement issued by the FMA
. The fragrance industry has published a listing of more than 3,000 fragrance ingredients that are currently being used in all forms of consumer products. This list can be found online
"Scare mongering through the use of 'suggested' or 'potential' associations between fragrance materials and various toxicities is deplorable, particularly when present in a document that purports to be scientific,' said Cathy Cook, the association's spokesperson in a statement. The FMA
further faulted the study because it was "self-published and not peer-reviewed."