By Dr. Kim Bloomer – co-founder of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy
In our modern society we are thoroughly engrained to believe a clean and inviting scent is a good thing. We have attempted to greatly model nature in flower scents but in the cheapest way possible with synthetic ingredients that are anything but clean or good for us resulting in very physically, mentally and emotionally harmful scents to both us and any animals living with or in contact with us.
In fact, many of the “fragrances” labeled on many products including but not limited to perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, laundry detergents and fabric softeners, candles, lotions, shampoos, hair conditioners, cleaning products, and more are neurotoxins. Worse, the manufacturers of these products do not have to list these harmful, toxic scents on their products under ingredients because they are protected as “trade” secrets!!
Let me back up for just a minute and share what a neurotoxin is so that hopefully those of you who were unaware of these potential hazards may realize what is actually really ailing the animals that live with you and thereby be able to remove them from your homes. Here is an article that can explain the basics for you: http://www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Neurotoxins
Here is a video that can help you see what these type of toxins actually do to the brain:
Daily I do a walk/run with my Carolina Dog, Schatzie, in the early morning. As we run past our neighbor’s house, we can often smell the scent of the dryer sheets they use in their laundry. Because I quit using all of these types of toxic household cleaning, personal care, fragrances, etc., in my own home years ago the scent causes a gag reflex in me – it’s my body’s way of saying to avoid that scent! My body has been been detoxified of those really harmful scents that are cumulative in our bodies AND in those of our animals living indoors with us which is why it bothers me more than someone that is living with those scents day in and day out. What it doesn’t mean though that just because the people using them aren’t noticing the scents, that they aren’t affecting them. Many of the people and animals living with these toxic chemicals in their homes are experiencing a multitude of health challenges in their respiratory systems among other things.
Now pause for a moment to notice just how a dog’s nose for example works and ponder that if those scents are bothering me, imagine what is is like for our indoor animals as well as the outdoor wildlife that are always living in close proximity to humans due to our increasing encroachment into their natural habitats.
It’s no wonder that these “fragrances” are now being called the “New Secondhand Smoke“.
Now after all of the “bad” I just shared know one thing: there are always, always, always natural alternative solutions that allow you to make viable choices away from these harmful scents. We use a variety of natural products in our own homes including cleaning, personal care and yard products that don’t off-gas these harmful substances.
One simple solution we’ve both implemented in our homes is to remove any candles, perfumes, colognes, and other “scented” products and replace them with essential oils and essential oil diffusers. However, choose wisely in this area as well because not all essential oils are created equal either. Those most often sold in stores are synthetic or grown with harmful pesticides thereby toxic just like all other fragrances.
You may contact us privately if you want to know anything further on that subject. In the meantime, simply start by removing the toxic products in your home and find simple DIY ways to make your own, non-toxic products for the health and well being of your animals and yourselves.
Take a look at the ingredients in your home, personal and yard care products to see if any of the toxic substances mentioned in the articles above are in your products. There are books you can purchase such as the Safe Shopper’s Bible (an oldie but goodie available on Amazon.com) that can help guide you further.