Photo via Flickr: Spigoo

Photo via Flickr: Spigoo

Every time I walk by the Abercrombie & Fitch store at The Grove, an outdoor shopping mall near my home, I think, This should be illegal. No, I’m not referring to the half-naked underage models who pose out front (though the chain should be given some sort of demerit for tastelessness); I’m talking about the repulsively chemically smelling fragrance that is pumped throughout the store.

It’s so powerful that passers-by within 100 feet are bowled over by the smell. The other day, I was driving past The Grove with my windows open, and actually got a noxious whiff.

Turns out, the stuff is not only foul-smelling, but truly toxic: A new analysis by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups, reveals that the Abercrombie fragrance — along with other top-selling celebrity fragrance products like Britney Spears Curious and Calvin Klein Eternity — contain dozens of secret chemicals that can trigger allergies or disrupt hormones.

Environmental Working Group, who assessed data for the 17 products analyzed, found them to contain:

  • 14 secret chemicals not listed on labels due to a loophole in federal law that allows companies to claim fragrances as trade secrets. American Eagle Seventy Seven contained 24 hidden chemicals, the highest number of any product in the study.
  • 10 sensitizing chemicals associated with allergic reactions such as asthma, wheezing, headaches, and contact dermatitis. Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio contained 19 different sensitizing chemicals, more than any other product in the study.
  • Four hormone-disrupting chemicals linked to a range of health effects including sperm damage, thyroid disruption, and cancer. Halle by Halle Berry, Quicksilver, and Jennifer Lopez J. Lo Glow each contained seven different chemicals with the potential to disrupt the hormone system.

The analysis couldn’t be more timely: Last week, President Obama’s Cancer Panel released a study sounding the alarm about toxic chemical exposure and cancer. To date, there are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, the majority of which have never been studied and are not regulated.

Click here for the full report.

–Jennifer Grayson

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6 Responses to “Britney Spears fragrance, others, truly ‘toxic,’ study says”

  1. Stinky Business: Fragrance Industry Accused Of Using Toxic Chemicals « :: the latest in green gossip Says:

    […] The Globe and Mail & The Red White and Green GA_googleFillSlot("Post_468x60"); No […]

  2. Andrea D Says:

    Don’t quote me on this, but I believe that the Canadian guys who wrote the rubber duck book about BPA say that some heavily perfumed products might also contain BPA.

  3. Jennifer Grayson Says:

    I know that tonalide and galaxolide, which are potentially toxic, are used to “fix” scented products but I haven’t been able to find anything about the BPA in fragrance. If you find a link, Andrea, will you please post it here? Thanks!

  4. Andrea D Says:

    I might have misheard about the BPA. This link says that fragrant products have phthalates.,2933,588505,00.html

  5. Jennifer Grayson Says:

    Thanks for the link, Andrea. Phthalates, BPA, whatever — it’s all awful and I don’t want them in my cosmetics!

  6. Britney Spears Auctions Dress For Charity, Umbrella Not Included | :: the latest in green gossip Says:

    […] Well, now you can! The sometimes-sane crooner is holding a charity auction that offers fans the chance to own the gown she wore in the print ads for her fragrance, Radiance (which, admittedly, is not so green). […]

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