London: Fragrance from air fresheners, scented candles and other perfumed products could have adverse effects on people who come into contact with them, a new study has revealed. The report suggested that perfumed products could affect people's health, causing problems including allergies, asthma and migraine, and even interfere with their sexual desire, daily reported.

A major problem is so-called 'contact' allergy — where perfumes and scented products trigger eczema and dermatitis after coming in contact with the skin, the report said.

Molecules in the fragrances triggered an immune response, causing itchiness and even scaly, cracked skin, it added.
"Allergies are on the increase, and the amount of perfumed products is also on the rise," Dr Susannah Baron, consultant dermatologist at Kent and Canterbury hospital, and BMI Chaucer Hospital, said.

"Fragrance allergy can show up as contact dermatitis in the site a perfumed product is applied, or as a flare-up of existing eczema. It can be a real problem," she said.

The report quoted two surveys conducted by Anne Steinemann, professor of civil and environmental engineering and public affairs at the University of Washington, as finding more than 30 per cent of the public reported adverse health effects from being exposed to scents in ordinary life.

"Fragrance suggests cleanliness — yet people are smelling a potentially hazardous chemical mixture. We often use them to mask one problem — as with air fresheners — but create a greater one — adding toxic chemicals to the air," the paper quoted her, as saying.

"Since then, I have received thousands of messages from people all over the world saying they get sick around fragranced products.

"They are suffering seizures, losing consciousness, can't concentrate on work, as well as suffering rashes, migraine headaches and asthma attacks," she added.


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