The cocktail effect

We know a little – a very little - about the effects of individual ingredients, but chemicals are rarely used in isolation; they are combined with others into complex mixtures. Yet there is hardly any safety testing of perfume mixtures. When several chemicals have similar effects, their combined concentration may exceed the ability of the body – or brain – to cope. Additionally, some chemicals can amplify the effects of other chemicals, for example by sensitising us to them, thus making us allergic to substances – even natural ones - that we could previously tolerate.

Can we keep these chemicals out of our bodies?