STINK! Documentary: Toxic Chemicals In Consumer Products Go Unchecked

In a powerful documentary, Jon Whelan reveals shocking information—proving that dangerous chemicals are being added to everyday products. Dangerous fragrances are commonly used to manipulate our senses. Sometimes this fragrance is used to entice impulse buys, and other times it is used as camouflage. Good smelling toxic chemicals are used to cover up foul-smelling ones—increasing the product’s overall toxicity. In the U.S. we rely on the FDA to keep these types of unsafe products out of the marketplace. John Whelan’s documentary STINK! reveals that such trust may be misplaced.

While the FDA is tasked with approving many products, it does not conduct any actual testing. Instead the agency relies on information supplied by independent labs and manufacturers to determine whether a product, medication, or food additive is safe. One of the most shocking revelations from the documentary is that manufacturers aren’t required to provide the FDA with a full ingredient list. Instead, many toxic chemicals can be hidden under the label “fragrance.”

Molly's SudsIn essence, manufacturers are entrusted to follow an honor policy—choosing safe ingredients because it is the right thing to do. While some businesses like Beautycounter voluntarily commit themselves to using only safe ingredients and avoiding potential toxins, not all are so scrupulous. Toxic ingredients tend to be cheaper and more readily available. In the competitive world of business, the bottom-line too often trumps social responsibility.

Even if manufacturers were to reveal every toxic ingredient, their poisonous products would likely still be approved by the FDA. That is because the United States bans only 10 unsafe ingredients. Compare this to Europe, which bans over 1400 ingredients linked to health problems.

brainscanAs it stands, the common practice of adding toxic fragrance chemicals to clothing, food, medications, detergents, and many other products is largely unchecked. While there is hope that future legislation may lead to consumer protections. For now, it is up to consumers to familiarize ourselves with product ingredients and determine which manufacturers we can trust. 

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 What To Remember:

The FDA is not allowed to request a full ingredient list for fragranced products.

Manufactures are using good smelling toxins to cover up foul smelling ones.

Consumers deserve greater transparency when it comes to toxic ingredients in everyday products. 

 Image by Carly Fraser - Live Love Fruit -  Serious Dangers of Synthetic Scents and How to Protect Yourself



  1. Mercola, Joseph. (December, 2018). The STINK: Why Dangerous Chemical Fragrances Are Used to Make Clothes Smell. Retrieved from
  2. Reade, Anna. (September, 2018). New Report Highlights Toxic Chemicals in Consumer Products. Retrieved from
  3. Doe, John. (September, 2019). 3 Things New Parents Do Differently Today To Protect Babies’ Health. Retrieved from
  4. Fraser, Carly. (April, 2018). 5 Dangers of Synthetic Scents. Retrieved from

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 “Just because a product is on the store shelf, doesn't mean that it's safe.
That's the way it should be, but that's not the way it is.” –Jon Whelan