The Smell of Danger
Smell is one of the five senses. All human abilities are divine, but I find it amazing that one whiff of something can take you back in time. Sometimes, smells can remind us of old friends, vacations, and unfortunately, memories that may not be pleasant. I recently walked into a store and the odor triggered a memory of a business I worked at in high school. This has happened to all of us.
Smell has many functions including sensing danger (fire) or poison (rotten food). Another purpose of those tiny nerves in our nose, known as the olfactory bulb, is to smell other people. Although sometimes we wish the schnoz was turned off around some, this function of smell is very important. Choosing who we like or don’t like can depend on a person’s odor. This is never more important than when choosing a mate. Humans release pheromones which help us make the decision to like or dislike a person.
In modern society, everyone is sadly trying to cover up their scent. The fact is, when you eat poor quality food and allow toxins/chemicals into your body, you stink. Then you want to cover it up with cologne and perfume. That is a bad idea, for those products are loaded with chemicals, carcinogens, and poisons.
500 years ago when humans did not shower, lemon oils and rose petals were used to cover up the odor. Today, all of us shower or bathe (maybe too much), negating body odor.
One particularly horrible situation is when a new mother uses perfume. The baby wants/needs to smell her, not some artificial plume of gas. Additionally, part of the bonding process is where mom can smell baby.
Exactly what is inside those pretty little bottles?
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of over 100 groups seeking transparency about chemicals in cosmetics, commissioned independent laboratory tests that revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 leading fragrances.“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 chemicals not listed on the label,” reports the Environmental Working Group, which analyzed the Campaign’s data. “Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”
EWG adds that some of the undisclosed ingredients are chemicals “with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues.” Examples include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies, and musk ketone, which concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk.
- Hormone disruptors
Is it possible that cologne and perfume cause heart disease? Of course, because heart disease comes from poor nutrition and chemicals.
The chemicals in fragrances cause inflammation to the body and artery blockage is the end result.
EWG blames the U.S. government in part, pointing out that the Food and Drug Administration “has not assessed the safety of the vast majority” of secret chemicals used in spray-on products such as fragrances. “Fragrance secrecy is legal due to a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on the product labels but explicitly exempts fragrance,” reports EWG.
In my office, we notify all patients not to wear perfume, cologne, or scented fragrances of any kind. It bothers me, my staff, and other patients. I want to smell you. That helps my ability as a doctor and as a human being. But don’t just do it for others, do it for yourself. Do not be the person living inside a toxic gas bubble who wakes one day to symptoms of a heart attack or a cancer diagnosis.
Finally, get rid of “air-fresheners” at home and in your workplace. Glade plug-ins and other deodorizers will make you and your family sick. Think about what those products do to your dog, an animal with a very keen sense of smell that likely is driven near insane by scented items. Cancer in pets should be a major concern for you. Poor nutrition and environmental pollutants cause all disease in humans and our pets.
- Eat healthy
- Use natural personal care products with organic ingredients
- Get rid of toxic laundry detergents, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and plug-in air fresheners.
Dr. Jack Wolfson
Senior Editor, Clear Health Now
Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC is a board-certified cardiologist who believes bad nutrition and toxins create heart health problems. He prevents and treats cardiovascular disease with good nutrition, not medicines and treats the whole person, not just the symptoms.
He is the author of The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health. You can find out more about Dr. Wolfson at The DRs Wolfson.