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Some scientists worry that the chemicals that make lotion, soap, trash bags and a myriad of household products smell good are an emerging class of pollutants that threaten environmental and human health.
There is “supporting evidence that more study and research need to be done,” said Antonette Arvai, a physical scientist with the International Joint Commission, a U.S. and Canadian agency that will discuss newly emerging pollutants at its biennial meeting in Detroit this week.
Use of fragrant chemicals in the United States has doubled since 1990. A recent study by the commission identifies synthetic musk fragrance, used in a great number of personal care and cleaning products, as a chemical of emerging concern.