The FIW Research Department is investigating the proposed link between lavender and tea tree oils and endocrine disrupting outcomes such as prepubertal gynecomastia in children.
Through a partnership with the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), the Franklin Institute of Wellness Research Department is leading a 3-part research project to investigate the proposed link between lavender and tea tree essential oils and endocrine disrupting outcomes, including prepubertal gynecomastia. With support from NAHA and some of the industry’s leading personal care product and essential oil companies, FIW researchers have developed a measurement instrument that can successfully measure childhood exposure to these essential oils through personal care products. This instrument will be used to conduct epidemiological studies on the outcomes associated with these exposures. While multiple laboratory studies over the last decade have uncovered potential endocrine disrupting effects of essential oils, this proposed link has yet to be either substantiated or rejected through epidemiological studies. Without an analysis of the effects of these ingredients within the human body, the safety of these two oils in pediatric products cannot be confirmed scientifically. These studies will be the first to identify the outcomes of the use of lavender and tea tree essential oils in personal care products for babies and children.
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For more on the story and to hear from leading researchers on the project click below.