An illustration of the dangers was seen when a man was sent to prison for attempted murder after he smeared a perfumed product over the handle of a door in the hope that his partner would suffer a severe reaction to the chemical.
In the modern world it has become almost impossible to escape that "just washed smell" now added to washing powders and the perfumes in hair sprays and deodorants grow ever stronger and more persistent.
In parallel to pesticide formulations the manufacturers of perfumed
products seek strength and persistence as a selling point.
Clothes can be washed, rinsed and hung out to dry for a day in strong winds but still the artificial smell remains.
With some materials clothes which have been impregnated with perfumes can be washed many times with a perfume free product but still the original perfume will be released from the cloth.
Poisoned individuals report acute sensitivity to such products and
they can often induce dramatic and immediate effects,
What is not generally realised is that many of the chemicals used are common to both pesticides and perfumed products and many are known to cause sensitisation. The problem is commonly referred to as "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity"(MCS) and more recently as "Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance" (TILT) but it may simply be an induced reaction to the hydrocarbons which are now part of most formulations.
Some very powerful and potentially Toxic chemicals make up the
formulations of some commonly used cosmetics. Long gone are the natural
scents found in lavender oils and roses. Today's perfumes, like the
flavourings used in some food products, are chemically induced
reactions designed to target the brain directly through the olfactory
Many of the chemicals are nerve toxins with recognised effects on the Central Nervous System.
Others weaken the immune system, leaving the user vulnerable to infection and disease.
Some ingredients are known to cause asthma and even cancer and yet we are encouraged by powerful advertising to cover ourselves every day.
Recent research suggests that these products may be responsible for a behaviour problem in children known as "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" ADHD but it is likely that asthma, eczema and some forms of dermatitis may also be linked due to the sensitisation of skin and lungs
It is possible that the combination of the presence of these chemicals both in the external environment and within the body, by skin penetration or as the result of residues in food, could present additional risk.
Unfortunately many of these chemicals not only have a direct effect in the brain but they can also disrupt hormones and mood.
In fact many solvents can produce addictive behaviour which is why
restrictions on the sale of solvent base glues to children were
Sadly many turned to the freely available deodorant and hair sprays and otherwise intelligent children are reported to have been killed by the habit of intentionally breathing the fumes.
Another addiction favoured by adults and children alike is that of
tobacco smoking but tobacco is not what it was either. Tobacco has
been smoked in Western countries for over 400 years but only recently
has it been linked to causation of cancer.
It is said that Tobacco manufacturers now add chemicals to the dried leaves to make the material burn faster and even be more quickly addictive but what is often forgotten is the growing stage.
Reports suggest that serious environmental damage is caused by tobacco growing in parts of Africa because the companies insist on blemish free leaves. This necessitates the use of ever increasing quantities of pesticides.
Some of those pesticides will be systemic and travel to every cell in the plant. Some of them will produce extremely toxic chemicals when they are burnt and the list of poisons in cigarette smoke is long.
The smell of the smoke has changed and even smokers find the smell of
stale smoke somewhat unpleasant so many resort to the use of perfumed
air fresheners. Some of these plug into electricity sockets and the
power releases a constant supply of a chemical perfume.
These fragrances have been shown to cause dangerous and irreversible health effects in laboratory animals.
Children continue to die as the result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
also known as "Cot Death". Suggestions were made that organophosphate
based fire retardants used in the mattresses were giving off toxic
vapours which were killing the children. This was refuted and instead
the blame was passed to the parents for smoking, keeping the babies too
warm or even allowing them to sleep in the wrong position.
The home has become a hot house full of potentially dangerous vapours.
We must ask ourselves what it must be like to be a baby lying
peacefully in a cot surrounded by cosy blankets just as grandmother
had used many years before.
Things are different now.
The baby wears nappies impregnated with perfume which cover skin rubbed with perfumed cream to hide the traditional baby smell. The baby is surrounded by blankets giving off the constant vapour which is that "fresh washed smell"
The parents wake in the morning and shower with perfumed gel. They may even use a whole body spray as they stand over the cot and the baby is showed with a mixture of deodorant and hairspray as the air fills with fumes from the smell of the father's shaving gel.
There is no escape for the child whose immune system is not yet properly formed.
Then the parents take the baby to the doctor's surgery where more deodorants, hair sprays and that "fresh washed smell" fill the air.
The doctor injects the baby with the first of many multi-vaccines and the baby is hit once again with an immune system challenge.
Then we wonder why health problems are increasing rapidly in the population.
Dated 16/9/2000 Updated 4/8/2001
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