The use of fragrances in cosmetics, detergents and cleaners has long been known. The conscious and manipulative spraying of fragrances in the interior, however, is more and more fashionable. The fragrance industry has evolved in recent years into a major economic factor. The global turnover is estimated at 18 billion dollars. In Germany, the German Association of the fragrance manufacturer represents the interests of its members. Approx. 3,000 different chemical fragrances are known. Thirty of them are produced in Europe in quantities greater than 1,000 tons per year. For more 750 perfumes annual production is estimated to be longer one ton. In contrast, the number of at least half a million perfume allergy sufferers in Germany, who have suffered greatly from the scenting. Acquired sensitization can not be cured medically.
Motives for scenting
Who does not know that pine scented sprays in private toilets or air freshener in motor vehicles? They have the task to cover bad indoor air or to suggest a pleasant odor. It becomes critical when entire rooms are scented by the air conditioning. An application example is the sales room of a car dealer who desires to mask with the help of precious scent the unwanted smell of rubber from tires. According to a survey conducted by the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB) half of the users of fragrances in the sales area does not inform the customer about the measure. The air-freshener in connection with a promotion I call manipulative: recognizable scents to stimulate spontaneous purchase, arouse emotions, allow products to recognize or bring well-being and confidence. Some companies have specialized in the “air-freshener” segment and offer application packages. Particularly critical is the use of fragrances below the odor threshold. The customer does not recognize the smell aware and is thus manipulated in his buying behavior.
Health risks of inhaled?
The inclusion of odorants through the skin has been proven to cause allergies. In addition to nickel, perfumes are the most common allergy triggers. About the inhalation of odors and resultant allergies, there are still unresolved scientific questions. In particular, it is unclear whether contact dermatitis-causing substances even when inhaled cause allergies. For precautionary reasons, the DAAB rejects a room fragrance. For allergy sufferers, the fragrances are a strong harassment. More research is urgently needed.
Recommendations of the Federal Environment Agency and other institutions for dealing with fragrances:
• If fragrances are introduced through air conditioners, this should be indicated in stores or offices.
• Fragrances should not be used to mask unpleasant odors. It would be fatal to avoid taking necessary ventilation and hygiene measures to establish in its place scenting.
• The sale of misleading products with the label “air freshener” should be avoided. Instead of natural ventilation bring the users of these products additional chemical substances into the air a.
• Hotel accommodations must renounce fragrances in detergents as well as on the direct use of space sprays. Rather, the statement “no use of fragrances” could provide a positive advertising effect.
• Products for air care should be clearly declared in terms of their ingredients.
• The use of fragrances below the odor threshold is to be omitted.
References and links:
1) Mücke / Lemmen: fragrance and odor. Effects and health implications of odorants. Ecomed Medicine 2010. ISBN 978-3-609-16436-6. 205 pages [German-issue]