Choose personal care products whose list of ingredients doesn’t include the word fragrance as it is generally synthetic. You’ll protect your hormonal system and that of your offspring by side stepping fragrances. You reduce exposure to phthalates – a family of hormone disrupting chemicals found in all of our bodies but at their highest levels in children and in women of child-bearing age.
Phthalates are commonly used to make perfumes last longer and keep nail polish from flaking. The chemicals cross the umbilical cord from mother to fetus and exposures are thought to be most problematic in the eighth – fifteenth week of pregnancy when the fetus begins to develop as either male or female.
Fragrance effects the planet too
Developmental changes in wildlife first alerted scientists to the hormone disrupting properties of chemicals in everyday products that found their way into their environment. Alligators downstream from sewage plants were being born with deformities, panthers were suffering from abnormalities.
In lab tests phthalates in synthetic fragrances have found to alter sexual development and cause cancer in lab animals.