Lisa Frank at Enviroblog reported last week that the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has published a list of ingredients that its members use to make consumer products. Of the 3,163 chemicals listed, 1 in 21 earned a "high" hazard score in the EWG's (Environmental Working Group) cosmetics database, 1 in 6 rated at least a "moderate" hazard score and 26 of them scored a perfect 10 (the highest score). Here's a list of those 26:
Nano titanium dioxide
Nano zinc oxide (20-60nm)
PEG-3 Sorbitan oleate
PEG-6 Sorbitan oleate
Now, these names mean nothing to me, but I do trust the EWG. Lisa Frank pointed out in her blog post that phthalates are "potent hormone distruptors linked to reproductive system birth defects in baby boys," and octoxynols and nonoxynols also "break down into persistent hormone disruptors." Musk ambrette, which is toxic to the skin, brain and testes, has been banned from body care products by the European Union, but is apparently still in use in some fragranced products.
These chemicals may be present in any personal care and household products that contain added fragrance, and manufacturers don't have to list them as ingredients in these products. Usually, if ingredients are listed at all, these chemicals are grouped under the general heading of "fragrance." Scary, very scary.