Collaborative Project:
Fragrances in Personal Care Products

Check the list of ingredients in your shampoo, lotion, or soapóchances are, it contains at least one fragrance chemical, even if it claims to be unscented.

Over the past decade, the use of fragranced personal care products has dramatically increased, but scientific research on their perceived impacts on human health and the environment has lagged behind. The ubiquitous use of these chemicals in consumer products, the lack of clear regulatory policies, and the challenge of studying the human and environmental health consequences of fragranced personal care products make this an important emerging environmental issue to address.

To better understand the social and cultural components that drive people to use fragranced products, a group of UC Davis researchers have examined how people in the US perceive products that contain fragrances.

Capital Public Radio interview about the fragrance project

Host David Watts-Barton spoke with Meredith Niles and Rick Grosberg about the fragrance project. You can listen to the podcast here.

Webcast of public seminar

The researchers, all student in the UC Davis REACH IGERT, presented their work to the public at a seminar at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center in January 2012. You can view a video of their presentation, Fragrance Chemicals in Personal Care Products: Why the Stink? posted at UCTV.

Workshop -- Fragranced Personal Care Products and Environmental Change: Scientific, Social, and Policy Perspectives

On September 16, 2011, the fragrance project researchers and experts from academia, agencies, non-profits, and the private sector met to discuss their perspectives on fragrance chemicals in personal care products and, more generally, frameworks to investigate other nascent environmental issues.

16 September 2011, 9am-4pm
Life Science 1022
UC Davis

Speakers included...

  • Anne Steinemann, University of Washington
  • David Epel, Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University
  • Dan Schlenk, UC Riverside
  • Rik Rasmussen, Water Resources Control Board
  • Rebecca Sutton, Environmental Working Group
  • and representatives from the Personal Care Products Council and Research Institute for Fragrance Materials

Free with preregistration, attendance limited, refreshments provided. Please preregister no later than 2 September 2011.

Sponsored by the REACH IGERT at UC Davis, with funding from the US National Science Foundation.

For more information, contact Carole Hom (clhom [at] ucdavis [dot] edu)

photo credits: top: Yolo Bypass and the Sacramento skyline, © Dave Feliz