Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy Injury Report February 2015

The intent of this report:  The intent of this effort is to inform the public through case reports of adverse effects, so that we can have a greater understanding of the effects on humans from use of essential oils.

What this report Is:  This report is a summary of the experiences from individuals who were directly impacted, or had direct observation of the adverse effects upon an individual who used the essential oil/blend. Reports were completed by those individuals. The Summary Report (below) was designed to give the reader a combined view of the submitted reports. After reviewing this table, please click on the link to go to the Raw Data Collection reports themselves as there is additional information provided, such as number of applications and additional personal testimonies.

Research Approach: “Pure phenomenological research seeks essentially to describe rather than explain, and to start from a perspective free from hypotheses or preconceptions (Husserl 1970).” This process was begun with no hypothesis or preconceptions and as the data grows, patterns are emerging. The first report was 34 reports. This one includes those 34 plus close to 50 more.

What this Report is NOT:  This is not a random survey of the universe of all people who have used essential oils/blends.

How information was gathered:  Information was entered into an anonymous report format, by the individual who experienced the event, or had direct observation of someone who used the oil/blend. All of the individuals were identified as valid persons, by e-mail address, full name/initials. All information was cut and pasted directly from the reports without any editing, into the raw data report, of which this is a summary.

Reports that were NOT included:  6 reports were not included in this report: three had used an essential oil, but reported no adverse effect; one that used several products that had a particular essential oil in it, two that was hearsay and had not witnessed the event.

Summary Statement:

  1. Zero injuries, or adverse effects as a result of consultation by a Certified Aromatherapy Professional (200 hours), or Clinically Trained Aromatherapy Professional (400 hours +).
  2. Ingesting essential oils by mouth while not under the care of a Qualified/Trained Aromatherapy Professional can/does result in adverse injury.
  3. Using essential oils neat, topically, can result in sensitization/adverse effects.
  4. Sales Representatives and other untrained personnel need better training in safe use of essential oils, so as to prevent injuries.
  5. Consumers need better information on where to call to get assistance with adverse effects, (either from ingesting, topical, or environmental exposure) using the protocol as stated on our File an FDA Complaint page, which includes calling Poison Control Center as they have an extensive database of essential oils and can assist Emergency personnel in treating and in substantiating etiology through consultation with a professional health service provider.

Further Work:  It is evident that the fields themselves need to be operationalized. A stronger technical element as to the software used needs to be developed in order to reduce entry and time on summarizing while increasing accuracy, and correlation from causation. This task can now be accomplished as we have a sense of the effects so that participants can select from discrete categories. We also are optimistic that the software will increase readability by providing links from Summary Report, to ID #, for better readability.

View the February 2015 Injury Report

This file contains the full reports including testimonies. There are a total of three pages. NOTE: please reference the ID #s as you scroll horizontally across each page (enlarge to 200% for best readability).

Note: Putting this summary together was very detailed and tedious work, and should you find any errors in it, we welcome your input.  Kristin Barber, 2-28-15


Helpful Tips

When you click the link for the actual Database, the PDF may be displayed inside of your browser, or you may be prompted to download the file.

Think of what you are seeing in the browser as a “thumbnail” – because that is what it is.

In order to VIEW the PDF full size – it may need to be downloaded.


Once downloaded, you can open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat and enlarge the view to 200% (or the smallest you can read comfortably).

Move around the pages with the magic hand.





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