We live in a world that is innudated with chemicals designed to make the world more pleasant.  Clothes don’t smell fresh like a mountain spring?  Add some fragrance to your laundry detergent.  Carpet smells like dog?  Sprinkle some powder and vacuum it up to get rid of (ummmm…I mean “cover up”) that dog smell.  But this constant exposure comes with a price.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are well known to be hazardous to our health.  They can contribute to things like respiratory problems, reproductive problems and cancer.   And we are well aware that we need to reduce our exposure when it comes to paint, copiers, pesticides, correction fluid and glue.  But what about those tricky little VOCs that are present in other everyday items?

Researchers found VOCs were present in air fresheners, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, disinfectants, dish detergents, all-purpose cleaners, soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions, deodorants, and shampoos.  The VOCs released from these products were NOT disclosed on the label of the product.

The bottom line is that you can eradicate every less-than-minimally-pleasant scent in your life or you can be truly healthy, but you can’t have both.  Consider items that use essential oils or are fragrance free.  In the dryer, consider those knobby dryer balls instead of toxic dryer sheets.  You may not smell like you just walked off the set of a Dove commercial, but your body will thank you later.

Read article here

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.


  1. You are so right. I worked in a building that was leaking, the water damaged the walls, they were painted, the carpet was replaced and hot glue blasted, I got so sick with chemical pneumonia I missed work for 3 months and was hassled over and over about having a dr note not to work in that room for 6 more months, it was a mess and finally I was so sick I left on disability and I truly believe my lungs and throat were permanently damaged from breathing that junk, can’t prove it tho that it was from that.

  2. Christine–at least you recognized the exposure for what it was and got out of the area as soon as you realized it. There are many working, living (and driving!) in environments that are toxic is subtle ways, destroying their health over time.

  3. Masking fragrances are often used in non-perfumed products to cover up toxic chemical VOC’s. So smell alone is not a safe gauge of the toxicity of products.

  4. I’ve been smelling and tasting an almondchemical smell and taste for a week…so i stopped taking my levothyroxine 50mcg,fish oil,red yeast rice and omeprazole 20mg…any ideas? What’s new at Kiwanis?

  5. Ron—if it’s a new smell, it’s best to look for something that may have changed and remove that to see if it’s an issue. And you DID look for an airfreshener hanging from your rear view mirror, right?

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