Words on Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

I watched an interesting documentary film (docufilm?) on Netflix the other day called Stink.

“STINK! opens with a foul smell and a pair of kids pajamas. And a single father trying to find out what that smell could possibly be. But instead of getting a straight answer, director Jon Whelan stumbles on an even bigger issue in America, which is that some products on our store shelves are not safe — by design.”

Taken from https://stinkmovie.com/

I don’t know if you have watched the documentary but I was riveted from the start.  The documentary deals predominantly with scent starting with a nasty whiff that was on a brand new pair of pajamas that were bought from a children’s store.  This moved on to what chemicals are lurking in our day to day products that are not listed fully on the ingredients section of the packaging.

Now, I was under the impression that anything added to a product needed to be listed but there is one loophole – the things that make a product smell – scent.  I was horrified to learn that most products contain “perfume” but no real ingredients listed for this.  The documentary was set in America but upon checking several items I use on a daily basis I found that they contained “perfume” with no other information given as to what may be contained in this perfume.

What came out of the documentary is that so many different chemicals have been added to create a scent, some of them harmful, toxic, carcinogens, untested, that listing them would cause the product to never sell.

I always imagined that perfume would be some kind of alcohol, naturally derived scents and other things that were not particularly harmful to us.  When you look at the amount of advertising and money that has gone into campaigns such as quitting smoking and eating more healthy, I never thought that I could unknowingly buy something that could alter my life in such a way.

We are forever told that eating unhealthily can cause diabetes and obesity and that smoking causes cancer but really that is the tip of the iceberg, especially if products we buy and use all the time contain known carcinogens that can enter into our bloodstream through absorption by our skin.  Can we ever totally be healthy?

I guess my biggest concern is that ingredients listed on labels can be totally misleading, and what concerns me is that there are harmful substances lurking in even the most innocent of products, and if we don’t know what is in them then how can we make a good choice and protect our health?

I have not yet read any arguments that go against those raised in the documentary but it really is something that I am interested in finding out about so I can eventually come to a fully informed decision about what is contained in products.

While I am not going to go and throw away all the products that have the dubious “perfume” listed in its ingredients, I think that I will be looking a lot closer at the labels before buying things in the future.

Have you seen this documentary?  What are your thoughts on the labeling of ingredients in our products?  I’d love to hear your comments!