Take a Whiff of This
We tested eight fragrances
to check for phthalates. Five of them are top sellers from some of the largest
perfume manufacturers, including Celine Dion Parfums Eau de Toilette Spray by
Coty, Clinique Happy Perfume Spray, Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds Eau de
Parfum, Estée Lauder Beautiful Eau de Parfum Spray, and Liz Claiborne Curve Eau
de Toilette Spray. Here's what else we tested and our surprising findings:
* All the fragrances we tested contained at least these two
phthalates: Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), which is banned in cosmetics in
Europe, and diethyl phthalate (DEP), which is not banned and was present in much
larger amounts. Our findings seem counter to a fragrance-industry survey that
reported DEHP use is down to zero.
* Two products--Aubrey Organics
Jade Spice Eau de Parfum and Aveda Love Pure-Fume Essence--went into the test
group because the companies say they don't contain any phthalates. But we found
DEP, DEHP, and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) in the Aubrey Organics product.
Aveda's perfume contained DEP and DEHP.
* Estée Lauder says that DEP
is the only phthalate used in any of its products, but we found DEHP along with
DEP in Estée Lauder Beautiful and its Clinique Happy. (The company also owns
Aveda.) A Liz Claiborne representative told us that none of its products
contains DEHP, but we found that chemical--plus DEP--in Liz Claiborne Curve.
* We tested Christian Dior Poison Eau de Toilette Spray because in
2002, tests by the Environmental Working Group, Health Care Without Harm, and
Women's Voices for the Earth found that it had four types of phthalates, more
than any of the other 16 fragrances tested. The 2002 study found DEP, DEHP,
dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and benzyl butlyl phthalate (BBP) but our tests showed
only DEP and DEHP.
* We bought Happy, Poison, and Beautiful in both
the U.S. and Europe, and found the E.U.-banned phthalate DEHP in all the
* No fragrances mentioned phthalates on their labels. But
by law, they can list the word "fragrance" without citing any of its components,