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Do lavender and tea tree oils cause breast growth and early puberty in children? 

Through a partnership with the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) and the Tisserand Institute, the Franklin School of Integrative Health Sciences Research Department / Franklin Health Research Foundation 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.

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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This 2-year research project began Fall 2018 and is expected to be completed late 2020.

The total cost of the project is $288,000, and it is being funded by the Franklin School of Integrative Health Sciences, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, the Tisserand Institute, through generous industry sponsors, and through generous individual donors.


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