August 21st, 2006
To the Editor:
The bottom line is not just that a ‘common chemical’ found in air fresheners can reduce lung function. Hundreds (if not thousands) of unnamed ingredients are poured into products under the supposedly benign category of ‘fragrance’. Don’t patents ensure protection for manufacturers? Are consumers not allowed to know the components out of fear we will manufacture them in our bathtubs when the secrets are revealed (“Honey, please pass me the toluene.”)?
This form of ‘trust’ should be criminalized. Every dollar you spend on products which fail to provide full disclosure of ingredients is another signature on a contract that ensures your ignorance concerning what you are eating, drinking, inhaling and have circulating throughout your body during every minute of your life.
Many chemicals found in fragrances are things which OSHA would regulate in your local factory. “Not enough of it to matter.” says the vendor. “Enough of what?” asks the consumer. “If I told you, I’d have to kill you,” pronounces the vendor.
They can also accomplish that by not telling us.