Think Twice About Perfumes if You Have COPD

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Think Twice About Perfumes if You Have COPD

People with pulmonary diseases like COPD are often sensitive to various environmental triggers. Things like smoke, pollen, dust, and various chemicals can activate symptoms and make it difficult to breathe. And these things affect not just those with COPD, but also individuals with allergies and asthma, and other chronic conditions like MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) or CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome).

One of the more common symptom triggers is perfume and other synthetic fragrances that you might find in cleaning supplies, scented candles or plug-ins, and many household products. Some people enjoy wearing perfume or clothes washed in scented laundry detergent, but you may wish to reconsider this habit if you have COPD or you live with someone who does. The chemicals in these products can be triggering to the airways, as well as potentially toxic to other systems of the body. 

Many fragrance chemicals are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which evaporate into the air (this is why we can smell them!). Generally speaking, the stronger or more long-lasting a scent, the higher the VOC content. Synthetic chemicals in fragrances are often petroleum-based, and may include phthalates, which can interfere with hormones, or things like benzophenone and styrene, which are carcinogens. Aldehydes, toluene, benzenes, and other chemicals have been associated with respiratory distress, allergic reactions, headaches, brain fog, kidney disease, and more. 

Anyone with COPD should be careful of what they put into the air they breathe, and that includes perfumes and other synthetic fragrances. Try swapping for unscented products or find a nontoxic perfume made from essential oils instead. Removing strong synthetic scents from your home can lower your overall toxic burden and may improve your respiratory symptoms. Thankfully, thanks to growing awareness of this issue, there are many safer options on the market today.

Making this one easy change can help you feel your best, and you’ll be doing your part to keep the air safe and clean! Want more tips on living well with COPD? Get in touch with us at Portable Oxygen Solutions today!

Please Call 1-800-958-0192 to speak to one of our friendly oxygen specialists.