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Report: Top fragrances may contain hidden chemicals



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY -- With a spritz or dab, the fragrance industry is big business, pulling in billions of dollars in sales. But now a new report says the business really stinks.

"We tested 17 top-selling perfumes -- celebrity fragrances, teen body sprays -- and found all of the products had many secret chemicals that weren't listed on labels and many chemicals of concern," says Stacy Malkin, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups. The coalition commissioned the report.

Among the products tested: Glo by JLo, Brittney Spears' Curious and Giorgio Armani's Acqua Di Gio. Her group commissioned the report.

"The products contain an average of 10 allergens each that can trigger headaches, skin rashes asthma attacks. And we also found many of products contain hormone-disrupting chemicals linked to long-term health effects, such as cancer or infertility," Malkin says.

The report says not only are the ingredients kept secret from consumers, but most have never been assessed for safety.

However, in a statement, the chief scientist from an industry trade group says what stinks is the report.

John Bailey from the Personal Care Products Council, said the report grossly misrepresents the science, erroneously alleges that many chemicals have not been tested for safety, and that consumers can be confident in the safety of their products.

But will this report cause consumers to turn up their noses? Reaction is mixed.

"I wouldn't buy any product with chemicals in it," one woman said.

"There's enough chemicals in everything else we do. I'm not giving up the perfume," another woman said.

Some people are sensitive to certain chemicals, even when others are wearing them. The FDA does not require fragrance manufacturers to disclose the ingredients of synthetic fragrances because these formulas are considered trade secrets. Today, only nine ingredients are prohibited by the FDA for use in cosmetics.

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Dr. Kim Mulvihill

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