办事指南

Fragrant threat

点击量:   时间:2019-03-08 08:08:02

By Lila Guterman SYNTHESISED perfumes have now reached detectable levels in the air we breathe. The compounds can accumulate in our bodies, but nobody yet knows if they are dangerous. About 8000 tonnes of musk fragrances are synthesised every year for perfumes, cosmetics and soaps. For the past five years, researchers have been finding synthetic musk compounds in fish and mussels and in human fat, milk and blood. The compounds seem to build up through the food chain in much the same way as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and some pesticides, such as DDT. Now, for the first time, these molecules have been found in air samples. Robert Gatermann and his colleagues at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Tromsø found high musk concentrations in indoor air samples and much lower concentrations—similar to PCB levels—in outdoor air. “I think it comes from cosmetics and all kinds of cleaners or air freshener sprays,” he says. Gatermann says that humans can build up the compounds in their bodies by breathing in these organic pollutants, as well as by eating contaminated food. The team’s results will appear in a future edition of the Journal of Chromatography. Gerhard Rimkus at the Official Food and Veterinary Institute in Neumünster, Germany,