Hairspray: it mutilates your junk. Body spray: it kills you.

Careful with that spray, dude: You're playing with fire there.
Careful with that spray, dude: You're playing with fire there.Courtesy reemer
Hey there, kiddos. Welcome to a brand new edition of Science Buzz: The Horror.

As usual on The Horror, today we’ll be obsessing over a somewhat concerning aspect of the world we live in: sprays.

It turns out that some of the stuff we love to spray on ourselves can be pretty nasty for us. The headline of this post may be distorting things a little (it’s called hyperbole, okay, and it’s the best thing in the history of everything, so lay off), so we ought to clear that up a little first.

When I say that hairspray mutilates your junk, I’m referring to the junk of the world. Your own junk is probably pretty safe, but the junk of your children is being put at risk by your use of hairspray. See, while I’m sure that you could find a way to use hairspray to destroy your own genitals, the issue at hand is that heavy exposure to hairspray during pregnancy can contribute to birth defects. Defects of the junk. Penis defects, in particular. It seems that certain chemicals found in hairspray, called phthalates, disrupt hormones in pregnant women. This increases the chance that their sons will be born with a condition called hypospadias (and I won’t be linking to that because the images that turn up are… whatever). Hypospadias causes the urinary opening to shift to the underside of the penis. Obviously, this sort of thing could lead to a whole range of penis-related problems. It can be fixed with surgery, but, given the option, I’m guessing that most boys wouldn’t choose to have hypospadias. So maybe you easy on the hairspray when you’re preggers.

Okay. So what about “Body spray: it kills you”?

Well, it would be very difficult for Axe to kill you (as opposed to an axe, I guess, which could kill you easily). But it looks like Lynx body spray (the Euro version of Axe) killed this poor kid. The boy collapsed in the bathroom while reapplying a “copious amount” of body spray to himself. There were no drugs in his system, but something caused his heart to start beating so irregularly that he died five days later in the hospital. As near as the doctors could tell, the episode was caused by the “passive inhalation of solvent”—that is, from accidentally inhaling too much of the body spray fumes that were trapped in the little bathroom. The spray can does warn against prolonged spraying, and says that it should only be used in well-ventilated areas. But who reads warning labels? So maybe go easy on the body spray.

(Actually, go easy on the body spray regardless of associated health issues. If not for yourself, then do it for the rest of us.)

Start your fretting.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

shaunalynn10's picture

wow that's interesting i knew those types of things caused pollution but not birth defects or death now im going to think of this everyday when i spray myself in the morning

posted on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 4:44pm
plee057's picture
plee057 says:

I don't use hair spray anymore plus I never liked it. I also agree with you shauna- I didn't know it could cause birth defects and death!

posted on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 4:46pm
SLC's picture
SLC says:

I'm glad I don't use hair spray but only when I go out to a special party I'll use it for my hair. I didn't that either that us could cause birth defects and death, that's really interesting to me. So I'm guessing whoever have a kid or is pregnant should be careful then.

posted on Thu, 12/04/2008 - 9:58am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Just a reminder that this study only looked at women who worked in places like salons, who were exposed to LOTS of hairspray every day. The research doesn't really suggest any guidelines for casual, personal users of hairspray.

posted on Thu, 12/04/2008 - 10:53am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Yeah, I should have mentioned that, but I'm more into making people feel uncomfortable.

posted on Fri, 12/05/2008 - 11:14am

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