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Asthma

Can Perfume Cause Asthma Symptoms?

02/22/2011

Question:

Can excessive use of body perfumes over many years cause diminished lung capacity and asthma like poor quality breathing (no asthma attacks as such) ?

Answer:

The vast majority of chemicals in artificial fragrances and perfumes have never been tested for adverse effects in humans. However, many studies have shown that exposures to even low levels of perfumes can worsen asthma symptoms and pulmonary function in patients with asthma. 


If you are a person who has been diagnosed with reduced lung function but are not known to have asthma, you should work with your doctor to find the reason for this. This evaluation should include specific testing to exclude asthma, because the use of perfumes and fragrances in this setting could certainly make things worse.

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Response by:

Jennifer  McCallister, MD Jennifer McCallister, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University