California Teens Protest Abercrombie & Fitch's 'Toxic' Perfume


Teens protest Abercrombie and Fitch's chemical-laden perfume in San Francisco, CA on September 28. Image courtesy of Teens Turning Green.

In May, I wrote about the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) report that revealed an average of 14 chemicals secretly lurk in popular perfume products, including Abercrombie and Fitch's (A&F;) fragrance, Fierce. Diethyl phthalate--a chemical linked to sperm damage in adult men and abnormal development of reproductive organs in baby boys--is among the 'complex cocktail' of synthetic chemicals in common fragrances.

This news was particularly unsettling to members of Teens Turning Green--a national movement of teenagers who support a sustainable future. The California-based students decided to protest A&F;'s signature fragrance--don't worry, they wore surgical masks to avoid breathing the fragrance. Click through for pics.
Why did the teens choose A&F;'s Fierce over other common fragrances (more in the EWG graph, below)? The store is known for 'dousing' their products, employees, and storefronts with the signature scent--as part of a marketing scheme, I presume. I have witnessed this at their store in New York City; if you walk by the store's exclusive, club-like entrance on Fifth Avenue--there's a carpet and velvet rope--you can smell the perfume from across the street.

Number of Chemicals Found in Common Fragrances Not Listed on the Label

Health risks from secret chemicals depend on the mixture in each product, the chemicals' hazards, that amounts that absorb into the body, and individual vulnerability to health problems. Caption and Image via EWG

Students involved with Teens Turning Green took to the streets to protest the spraying of A&F;'s fragrance, calling it "toxic trespassing," also also to rally support for The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, which could help regulate chemicals in cosmetics. Lisa Wertheim, development and program director at Teens Turning Green, told us that the protest went well. She expands on this, below.

The teens went into the store to deliver a copy of the letter to the manager and they walked around with the protest signs quietly chanting for about five minutes; then the police arrived and escorted them out of the store. They shut down the store for about five minutes and we resumed chanting and protesting outside the main doors of the store.

Photos from their protest, below.


Image courtesy of Teens Turning Green.

Image courtesy of Teens Turning Green.

Join the effort by visiting Teens Turning Green, where you can sign a petition, organize a protest, and/or promote the campaign through social media.

Visit EWG to learn more about The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010.

More Teens Turning Green
Teens Address Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics at National Summit
Teens Turning Green: Skincare for Teens and Tweens

Tags: California | Cosmetics