Ground water contaminants from fragrance oils

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seven8soap

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I looked into a new fragrance oil and it says that even small concentrations could be harmful to groundwater. I made a batch of soap with it, and am seriously wondering if the levels used in soap are really going to have a negative impact on the water we drink. I'm just kinda shocked with tons of questions. I guess I have become desensitized to the alarmist sound off "fragrance oils are going to kill you" speech, but when I'm personally responsible for the damage I just sit here wondering if what I want out of my soaps is ecologically responsible. Any inputs?
 

topofmurrayhill

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I looked into a new fragrance oil and it says that even small concentrations could be harmful to groundwater. I made a batch of soap with it, and am seriously wondering if the levels used in soap are really going to have a negative impact on the water we drink. I'm just kinda shocked with tons of questions. I guess I have become desensitized to the alarmist sound off "fragrance oils are going to kill you" speech, but when I'm personally responsible for the damage I just sit here wondering if what I want out of my soaps is ecologically responsible. Any inputs?
You should probably contact the supplier or preferably the manufacturer and find out what this warning is about. Either that or don't use it, but I think it would be good to find out what the deal is.
 

seven8soap

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Thanks, I will contact the supplier. I know I'm not the only one to use it, as it's pretty popular. The MSDS sheets are pretty alarmist themselves.
 

earlene

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I looked into a new fragrance oil and it says that even small concentrations could be harmful to groundwater. I made a batch of soap with it, and am seriously wondering if the levels used in soap are really going to have a negative impact on the water we drink. I'm just kinda shocked with tons of questions. I guess I have become desensitized to the alarmist sound off "fragrance oils are going to kill you" speech, but when I'm personally responsible for the damage I just sit here wondering if what I want out of my soaps is ecologically responsible. Any inputs?
Just out of curiosity and so I don't purchase it myself, what is it and where did you purchase it? Also what if I already have it and don't even know. I have several bottles of FO's I have obtained in the past from different de-stashes and some are no longer being sold by the company where they came from, so I can't always find pertinent information about them.
 

seven8soap

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Brambleberry's ginger patchouli FO... LD50 for rats is 1700 mg/kg, 4000 for rabbits. Benzyl benzoate is the toxin, so I'm guessing small quantities in the FO for soap is so diluted it won't cause death, but still, my conscience is sendinf up little red flags.
 

BrewerGeorge

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Realize the benzyl alcohol (the annmarie link) is NOT the same thing as benzyl benzoate.

Now take a look at the LD50 for perspective. LD50 is a measurement of the dosage at which 50% of organisms exposed to a given level of toxin will die. I'll use the rat 1.7g toxin per 1 kg of body mass because it's the most restrictive listed. Take a newborn baby at 4 kg; he would need to ingest 6.8g of toxin to cause a 50/50 chance of death.

Now translate that 6.8g into the soaping realm. I just made a one kg (oils) loaf of soap that contained approximately 50g of FO and was cut into 16 bars of around 100g each. So each bar should contain approximately 3 grams of FO. To reach the LD50 level, that baby would need to eat more than two bars of that soap in a relatively short period of time, if the FO were 100% benzyl benzoate! Now what percentage of the FO do you think is actually benzyl benzoate? One percent (200 bars)? Ten percent (20 bars)? Even if it's 50% (and there's no way) our little 8 lb baby would need to eat nearly a pound of soap to reach LD50! And, of course the amount goes directly with weight, until a 70kg adult would need to ingest more than four ounces by weight of pure benzyl benzoate to reach LD50.
 

HowieRoll

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The part that is concerning to me is under #12 Ecological Information on the MSDS for the product:

General notes:
Water hazard class 2 (Self-assessment): hazardous for water
Do not allow product to reach ground water, water course or sewage system.
Danger to drinking water if even small quantities leak into the ground.
Harmful to aquatic organisms


So I read that and then imagine all of the thousands of 55 gallon drums full of this and other fragrances (EOs and FOs alike) that are being decanted for sale... and have to wonder if the aggregate of all the usage going down the drain is an environmental issue?
 

dixiedragon

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The part that is concerning to me is under #12 Ecological Information on the MSDS for the product:

General notes:
Water hazard class 2 (Self-assessment): hazardous for water
Do not allow product to reach ground water, water course or sewage system.
Danger to drinking water if even small quantities leak into the ground.
Harmful to aquatic organisms

So I read that and then imagine all of the thousands of 55 gallon drums full of this and other fragrances (EOs and FOs alike) that are being decanted for sale... and have to wonder if the aggregate of all the usage going down the drain is an environmental issue?
At the risk of being Debbie Downer...probably. Honestly, though, it would be far more environmentally sound for us to get over our obsession with cleanliness and smelling good. And healthier.
 

maya

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I looked into a new fragrance oil and it says that even small concentrations could be harmful to groundwater. I made a batch of soap with it, and am seriously wondering if the levels used in soap are really going to have a negative impact on the water we drink. I'm just kinda shocked with tons of questions. I guess I have become desensitized to the alarmist sound off "fragrance oils are going to kill you" speech, but when I'm personally responsible for the damage I just sit here wondering if what I want out of my soaps is ecologically responsible. Any inputs?
That is a product I would not be comfortable using. The irony is I her far, far, far, like 100 to 1 hear negatives about essential oils then fragrance oils. But I only use plant based fragrances, not fragrance oils so I may be more sensitive to it. :bunny:
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Arimara

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At the risk of being Debbie Downer...probably. Honestly, though, it would be far more environmentally sound for us to get over our obsession with cleanliness and smelling good. And healthier.
No, I'm a hard working woman. When I get home from work, I do NOT need to go to bed with the dust and sweat of the day on my body. :mrgreen::twisted:

Also, showers are relaxing for me so... :bathtub:
 

SheLion

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Benzyl benzoate is used as a fixative in the perfume industry. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzyl_benzoate) So most likely, a good many fragrance oils contain it. In a decidedly non-scientific, non-rigourous test, I just looked at the MSD sheets for 10 random FO from Nature's Garden. (Not picking on them, just already had their website up) All but one of them contained benzyl benzoate in varying concentrations (including one that was a whopping 70-80%). The one that didn't contained benzyl acetate, along with some other incredibly long named compounds, that is in the same toxin category as benzyl benzoate.

And in the "synthetic does not always equal bad and natural does not always equal good" category, the two carcinogenic ingredients that I noticed were both essential oils, one a leaf oil and the other a nut oil.

Edited to add: I'm just guessing here but in reference to the 55 gallon drums being decanted, wherever that's being done most likely has a containment or treatment system so that if a spill ocurred, it wouldn't contaminate the local water supply. If they're don't have some sort of preventative in place, OSHA and the EPA would probably be pretty unhappy with them.
 
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