Need of the hour: to raise awareness on vicious fragrances and synthetic musks

Abstract

Synthetic fragrance compounds have become a ubiquitous part of household cleaning products and personal care agents. To improve aesthetics, fragrances are added, but the current research has unveiled detrimental effects of these odorous compounds. The exposure to the synthetic fragrances and musks, which are produced in quantities of thousands of tons per year, has been shown to elicit several pathologies. The fragrance compounds are regarded as toxins by the human immune system, and to eliminate them, cytochrome enzymes, especially aromatases, are overexpressed. These enzymes also convert androgens into estrogens, but excess estrogen production affects the endocrine system in both males and females. Although the estrogenic properties of cosmetics are increasingly being proven, the link between fragrance compounds and a wide variety of modern lifestyle diseases is not known to the majority of the public. It is increasingly being evident that all diseases have common roots, i.e., inflammation. The unprecedented prevalence of diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression, among others pathologies, is tied to the limitless usage of fragrance compounds. Therefore, it is important to further investigate the dangers associated with fragrance compounds, to inform the regulatory bodies to allow them to better control manufacturers, and to alert consumers. This article is directed for facilitation of that objective.

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Patel, S., Homaei, A. & Sharifian, S. Need of the hour: to raise awareness on vicious fragrances and synthetic musks. Environ Dev Sustain (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-00829-4

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Keywords

  • Fragrance compounds
  • Synthetic masks
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Inflammation
  • Aquatic pollution