Phthalates – FUD – An engagement ring 4

We have a lot of requests come in each month regarding our fragrance oils. People are requesting to know if our fragrances are phthalate free or not. I think about 80% of our collection is phthalate free. But, for those of you who want a list of all of our fragrances which explains those which contain phthalates and those that don’t, I need to address why we don’t publish such a list.

First, let me explain FUD. This acronym stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. 

When the initial phthalate concerns came about it is because phthalates had been accused of causing a small penis. While that will shock most readers, we want you to know we don’t believe this is a problem and that only FUD has come into play.

Phthalates are used to make vinyl plastics soft. There are different classes of phthalates and some are considered harmful and others are not. You are probably wondering why they are used in fragrances at all. The reason is phthalates help the fragrance have staying power. Some scents (particularly vanilla) are easily lost with exposure to air. In order to understand how much phthalates are used and when parts per BILLION come into play, you should read and understand what this product can do for you. When it comes to certain fragrance components we are looking for those with good odors and those that are GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). There is an industrial group that advises their members on what ingredients should be used in perfumery and those that should no longer be granted GRAS status.

Who do you think has the greatest exposure when it comes to fragrances? Is it the user of the soap? Nope. What about the maker of the soap? No, again. It is the maker of the fragrance oil. The maker deals with the components of fragrance oils in their raw form and most concentrated state. I think reading the site will give some insight into the history of phthalates and how much alarm should be spread about this ingredient. Keep your Doubting Thomas hat on when it comes to forwarded messages, alarmist news releases, and “Free of ___” labels. Not everything is as dangerous as the news stories make it seem.

So, what can we do to calm our nerves and sit back to let the chaos clear? Let’s have tea! I know it isn’t Tuesday but I hope our readers will allow an exception today and let me do Tea Thursday. I have caught up on all my tea notes and sent more mugs than I originally promised. I hope the receivers are having a great giggle! I know I did. My mug of choice is pictured here in this blog. Yes, after our cattle + garden = destruction incident I had to find some humor in the event!

How does Tea Tuesday/Tea Thursday work? Well, first you can comment on this blog then you go to the Contact Us page and choose the Community Pursuits radio button and submit your name, address, and tea choice along with what is happening in your life. You can also send questions or comments about the blog. I will send you a hand written note and a tea bag so you can make a cup of tea. I don’t have any list of teas today, so please look through the catalog to find something you would like to try.

Would you like to know what is happening in my life? Andee is now engaged to Jerry. The couple is suffering from engagement brain and they are grinning like silly people. We are very happy for them! (Sorry, Andee! I had to let the cat out of the bag!)


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About Tina

I started in 1996 with the help of my husband. Now I get to help people make all kinds of soaps and bath and body products. I think my favorite things to make are lip balms and lotions/creams. Of course I get most of the soap technical support questions because that is my strong knowledge area. Glad this blog is here!

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4 thoughts on “Phthalates – FUD – An engagement ring

  • doxie

    Oh, I like that mug…how cute!! We have Jersey cows, so even though that is not a “Jersey” it’s still adorable to me, since I’m loving having the cows. 🙂

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  • Sherenee

    Most people I have met, who use handmade soaps and cosmetics do so because of the reduced exposures to unsavory chemicals. And while I understand your point , let me just point out that Asbestos to was considered safe at some point as well.
    Lastly, I am not going to argue with a paying customer that the minuscule amount ill-reputed chemical is considered generally safe. My customers’ requests dictate my inventory and supplies. They request phthalates-free, so that’s what I buy.

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  • Tina Post author


    You are right, most people who use hand made soap do so because of the more natural product. If your customers want to reduce their exposure to unsavory chemicals and phthalates are on their list of things to ask for, then they should not be buying soaps scented with fragrance oils. They should buy soaps only made with SAFE essential oils. Just because a product is natural does not mean it is safe.

    My post is not to justify phthalates, just to point out that advertising that is Phthalate Free *implies* there is something wrong with phthalates. We know asbestos is bad. We *KNOW*! We also *KNOW* lead is bad to use for bleaching the skin. We can not duplicate the science experiments and prove that phthalates cause a small penis. When we can replicate that test time and time again, now we *KNOW*. All I am saying is to not jump to conclusions and *KNOW* why phthalate free is being requested.

    I have yet to meet *anyone* (phone or in person) who knows why fragrance oils are being requested as phthalate free. When people do learn why this is an issue, I feel it is our obligation to teach our customers, then they also feel this product requires more research. An educated buying community is a powerful thing. Uneducated buyers cause a lot of chaos in trying to find an alternative that is *hopefully* not as bad as the item in which they target.

    All I am saying is “Let’s be educated together.”

    Next week we can blog more about this topic. I will try to answer questions and give everyone a chance to think about this topic instead of just react to the topic.


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  • Ana Baird

    Tina, I appreciate this article so much! Phthalates aren’t something I am concerned about, in fact, never paid any attention to them before, but it’s good to be armed with some reliable information about them. I checked out the link you posted, too. I’m going to tuck this post away in my reference file about ingredients, just in case I get a question from a customer. I agree with your stand about being educated, and the junk science culture has done enough damage, IMO. Thanks for your work!

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