Allergy to Fragrances

Betty Bridges bcb56 at ix.netcom.com
Wed Oct 11 18:53:18 EST 1995


In <45fs3e$n90 at gwdu19.gwdg.de> Volker Blaschke <vblasch at gwdg.de>
writes: 
>
>Well, allergies to formaldehyde are almost nonexistent, at least we
have 
>not seen any at our allergy department or heard of any. I guess that
it 
>really is the irritating nature of the substance that causes your 
>complaints.
>And I wonder who said that fragrances are formaldehyde. This would
have 
>to be declared separately from fragrances.
>
> Volker
>
>-- 
>Dr. Volker Blaschke
>Depts. of Dermatology, Biochemistry
>Georg-August-University, Goettingen, Germany
>CompuServe: 74740,50
>Email: vblasch at gwdg.de
>Tel: xx49 551 39 5959 / 5978
>
>
Fragrances may contain formaldehyde, but they contain a lot of other
stuff too.  Exactly what only the companies that formulate them know. 
I have gotten quite an education since I started researching the topic.
According to the FDA there might be 200 chemicals in a fragrance
formula.  Someone I talked to at Procter and Gamble said it may be as
many as 300 things in one fragrance formula.

There is basically no regulation on what goes into fragrances.  Since
the formulas are considered trade secrets, companies do not have to
tell anyone what goes in them. (source FDA)  If you have an
allergy...tough luck you are on your own to figure it out.  I wonder
what is the biggest secret ......the ingredients so other companies
won't copy them or the ingredients so the public doesn't know what is
actually in them?

Have found sources to get some information.  If anyone would like them
let me know. From the research I have done, formaldehyde does not
usually cause an allergic reaction to itself.  However it is classified
as a sensitizer (source MSDS sheets) which means it may make you
sensitive to other stuff.  In higher concentrations than found in
cosmetics formaldehyde is an irritant and will cause burning and
tearing of the eyes. 

I'm really not sure if my reactions to fragrances is a true allergy.  I
have read some articles on the stimulation of Cranial Nerve 5.  The
theory is the chemicals stimulate that nerve to set the reaction in
motion.  Once the reaction is started the immune system is involved.
Formaldehyde, ether, smoke, etc are some of the chemicals mentioned in
the article that could trigger a reaction by stimulating Cranial Nerve
5.  

But whatever the process...the end results is the same.  When I say
someone's fragrance leaves me breathless......I MEAN IT.

Thanks to everyone that has given me input on fragrance allergies.  And
if anyone knows of any effective treatment, I would be very interested.
Tired of getting sick every time I go out in public and hate wearing a
mask.  

Thanks 
Betty



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