Things that may be pollutants in some circumstances are not pollutants in other circumstances. Fertilizer is good for crops; but the runoff of excess fertilizer becomes pollution contributing to oceanic dead zones. Likewise, chemicals in perfumes are there for a reasonable purpose. They are not pollutants in that use, but in other circumstances they may be. Apart from the possibility of them becoming pollutants, some of them carry health risks.
The chemicals in perfumes range from alcohols to sulfates, chlorides, and dozens more. See link for some of the most common.
Perfumes are very heavy in chemicals, and can for sure carry toxins. A federal law loophole allows companies to protect their fragrances as “trade secrets,” and thus they do not have to list all their chemicals on the label, and many of these “secret ingredients” have not been properly tested for safety. While some of these may be (and likely are) harmless, there’s good reason to be concerned. Chemicals in perfumes have been associated with asthma, wheezing, allergic reactions, and endocrine disruption, which in turn can be linked with thyroid disruption or even cancer. As this article points out, some of the largest brand names in perfume contain these unlisted chemicals that potentially could be linked with these afflictions.
Here are some previous GreenAnswer questions regarding chemicals in perfume and their impact on the environment:
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