Synthetic Fragrances -More Than Just a Pretty Smell?

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(Breathes in) Ah, that air freshener smells like the great outdoors. But scientists are wondering whether artificial fragrances could be effecting our environment and our health. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

“They’re used in soaps and washing powder and room freshener and these fragrance trees you put in your car. There’s a huge application of these fragrances, and we’ve been focusing on synthetic musk compounds.”

Till Luckenbach is a Post Doctoral Researcher at the Hopkins Marine Station in Stanford University. He says that every years manufacturers use several thousands tons of synthetic fragrance

“These musk compounds, actually, they get into the environment through sewage efflux. So, when you you wash your clothes, and then the wastewater goes into the canal and into the sewage treatment plant where all the wastewater is treated. And these musks, actually, are not removed by sewage treatment plants, so what happens is they go through and then end up in the environment.”

“These chemicals are supposed to be pretty harmless for human health. However, what happens actually, is that these musks are pretty persistent in the environment. They get into the environment and stay there for a long time, and they accumulate. So, they gather in the tissue of marine organisms. You find them in shellfish and also in fish, and that’s actually where they were first found in – in environmental samples. So, we were interested in the long term effects of these chemicals.”

There’s evidence that artificial fragrances could have a negative effect on our health. We’ll hear more in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation . I’m Jim Metzner.
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Synthetic Fragrances -More Than Just a Pretty Smell?

Artificial fragrances are finding their way into marine ecosystems.
Air Date:07/11/2005
Scientist:
Transcript:

music
(Breathes in) Ah, that air freshener smells like the great outdoors. But scientists are wondering whether artificial fragrances could be effecting our environment and our health. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

"They're used in soaps and washing powder and room freshener and these fragrance trees you put in your car. There's a huge application of these fragrances, and we've been focusing on synthetic musk compounds."

Till Luckenbach is a Post Doctoral Researcher at the Hopkins Marine Station in Stanford University. He says that every years manufacturers use several thousands tons of synthetic fragrance

"These musk compounds, actually, they get into the environment through sewage efflux. So, when you you wash your clothes, and then the wastewater goes into the canal and into the sewage treatment plant where all the wastewater is treated. And these musks, actually, are not removed by sewage treatment plants, so what happens is they go through and then end up in the environment."

"These chemicals are supposed to be pretty harmless for human health. However, what happens actually, is that these musks are pretty persistent in the environment. They get into the environment and stay there for a long time, and they accumulate. So, they gather in the tissue of marine organisms. You find them in shellfish and also in fish, and that's actually where they were first found in - in environmental samples. So, we were interested in the long term effects of these chemicals."

There's evidence that artificial fragrances could have a negative effect on our health. We'll hear more in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation . I'm Jim Metzner.
music