Expatica news

Perfume products raise health fears

23 November 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgians using certain perfumes, deodorants and home air fresheners are dicing with their health, consumer watchdogs warned on Tuesday.

Belgium’s consumer group Test-Achats and the European Consumer Office said about 40 brands tested in rooms using normal amounts had given them serious worries because of the chemicals they emitted.

Test-Achats is calling on the Belgian authorities to run more general tests on all similar products sold in the country.

It said some products – like scented candles and incense – were found to create carcinogens in the air, such as formaldehyde and benzene.

Others let out chemicals that would irritate the eyes, nose, throat or respiratory passages of many people, particularly anyone vulnerable such as pregnant women or asthma sufferers.

The results also found some products emitted chemicals that caused allergies or that would react with other chemicals to cause allergies to humans.

There are 24 fragrances that are known to cause allergies but which are still being used in cosmetics and deodorants in Belgium.

In fact, only four products were found not to contain these substances – and they released other toxic substances.

The tests also worryingly found some substances in incense and room freshener sprays that damaged the human reproductive system.

And the environment is also at risk from the vaporisers, gels and scents tested. The consumer watchdogs want to see the authorities take action against those that breach the pollution limits defined by the World Health Organisation.

Each and every product tested was described as causing a “presence in the air of harmful or potentially harmful products” concluded Test-Achats – a “sickening cocktail” of chemicals.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news