Stink – A chemical education

Did you know that there is a loophole in the law that says that companies can use the word fragrance in the ingredients of a product? Did you know that “fragrance” could be code for 100 different chemical ingredients that they don’t have to disclose and can be dangerous to our health? These can be in your cleaning products, your perfume, your deodorant, your soap, your makeup, skin cream, health products and many many more things that we all use on an everyday basis.

No, this isn’t a conspiracy theory, this is what I have learned from the documentary “Stink”. And let me tell you, I thought I was pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the chemicals I was bringing in to my life – BUT I was happily SCHOOLED when I watched this fabulous documentary on Netflix.

The premise is that a recently widowed father purchased a pair of pajamas for his seven-year-old daughter. They came with an awful chemical smell, and this triggered him to find out what the smell was – and whether it is safe. When the company wouldn’t tell him, all the while assuring him that it was completely safe – he had a lab do their own tests. And while I won’t spoil exactly what they found was LEGALLY put into his daughter’s pajamas – it wasn’t pretty.

My favorite part came in a court hearing, where the lawyer asked the FDA agent “If someone puts arsenic in a beauty product, would they have to let the FDA know before they sold it?” followed by the sheepish FDA agent replying “no, they would not”. I think that basically sums up the whole attitude of the industry, and I certainly don’t think this only occurs in the USA!

After watching this documentary, I immediately looked at any packaged goods that I still have in my home. Luckily, it looks like my vitamins were safe, but the last bottle of my old deodorant, old perfume, and a moisturizer all had the word “fragrance” listed in the ingredients. Let’s just say I won’t be using those anymore.

This has certainly given me something new to think about when I am out in the world, but it has also given me the push I need to change my last few makeup products to homemade. I might not be able to control the world around me, but in my home, we will be as chemical free as possible. For the most part, I am glad that my Zero Waste products often are organic, and list all of the ingredients, with no “fragrance” in sight. But, even with my Zero Waste products, I’ll be paying more attention to the ingredients in my bars of soap from now on.

I would encourage everyone to watch this film. Not only is it informative and digestible, but it has also changed the way I look at the world – for the better of my health. I would love to hear your thoughts on this fabulous documentary, or any other documentary recommendations you have! Comment below or message us on Instagram!

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