Article Summary

Fragranced Consumer Products and Undisclosed Ingredients

Fragranced consumer products—such as air fresheners, laundry supplies, personal care products, and cleaners—contain chemicals that are not disclosed to the public.

Results from a regulatory analysis, coupled with a chemical analysis of six best-selling products, revealed several findings.

What did the analyses find?

No law in the U.S. requires disclosure of all chemical ingredients in a consumer product.

No law in the U.S. requires disclosure of any ingredients in a chemical mixture called "fragrance."

The six products emitted 58 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs), for a collective total of 98 VOCs.

Of these identified VOCs, 11 are regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, with 3 classified as Hazardous Air Pollutants.

Virtually none of the identified VOCs were listed on any product label or material safety data sheet.

What do these findings mean?

Fragranced consumer products contain and emit numerous ingredients—including some classified as toxic or hazardous—that are not disclosed to the public on either the product label or material safety data sheet.