Children of all ages, as well as teachers, require healthy environments to thrive in. Schools, unfortunately, have notoriously poor indoor air quality.
One thing that contributes to poor IAQ is the use of fragrance chemicals in cleaning products, as well as in personal care and laundry products.
These chemicals do nothing to enhance the air quality, and much to induce cognitive and neurological impairments, sperm damage and respiratory problems.
Boys who overused sprays such as Axe Body Spray have prompted the Brandon School Division to ban perfumes and colognes. (Canadian Press) / via CBC
Over-use of these products is not the real problem.
The real problem is that these products contain toxic chemicals and serious allergens, and these chemicals and allergens do not respect personal boundaries or property lines, but trespass into everyone’s air, brains and bodies.
The good news is that another school district has recognized there’s a big problem, especially from a product marketed to teenage boys to make them think they will attract countless sex objects when they apply these toxic products (the objectification of girls is another huge problem with these products).
“The commercials out there say that, ‘If a little is good, more must be better,’” he said. “Therefore, 14-year-old boys believe that if they use two thirds of a can, then naked women are going to jump out of their lockers.” ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2013/09/04/mb-scent-ban-brandon-winnipeg.html ) … “Sefton said he understands not all scents can be eliminated — deodorant and laundry detergent are both OK, but perfumes and body sprays have become a problem.”
EXCEPT that there are perfectly good fragrance free/ unscented deodorants and laundry products available these days. There is NO good reason for people to be subjected to toxic fragrance ingredients! Why do they ban tobacco smoke indoors in schools but allow hundreds of toxic chemicals from fragranced products?
- EWG Consumer Guides
- Guide to Less Toxic Products A Guide to a Healthier Life
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Report an Unsafe Product
- U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services: Household Products Database —Health and safety information on household products
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) Scent-Free Policy for the Workplace
- Canadian Lung Association Pollution & Indoor air quality – Scents
- CDC Indoor Environmental Policy protects those with chemical sensitivities
- Dr. Anne C. Steinemann Resources: Fragrance-Free Policies, CDC Indoor Environmental Quality Policy, Leaders for Healthier Air, Air Freshener Fact Sheet, Green Clean Fact Sheet , Toxic Chemicals in Air Fresheners, Toxic Chemicals in Fragranced Laundry Products
- Fragrance free policies from around the world
- Fragrance What’s that smell?
- Health Care Without Harm on fragrance chemicals
- Women’s Voices For The Earth Reports Reports about fragrances and toxic chemicals in everyday products
Media links regarding AXE aka LYNX
Brandon School Division bans scents
School division plagued by teen boys wearing too much body spray
“Officials said the smells were so bad they were impacting staff and student health as well as distracting from learning.”
The board’s chair said prior to the decision that scents like laundry detergents and deodorants would be allowed at schools.”
Brandon School Division trustees unanimously pass scent-free policy
“The issue of scents and a person’s odour is extremely subjective and virtually impossible to enforce. Many products contain fragrance and it is important for everyone to exercise care around those with sensitivities. Ultimately, we believe that matters like this are best left to school administrators and parents to decide,” said Sara Doucet from Axe Body Sprays.
Freedom High School student with Axe allergy returning to school
Brandon Silk just wants to go to Freedom High School like a normal sophomore.
But a life-threatening allergy to Axe body spray has meant he spent a portion of his freshman year being home-schooled after needing EpiPen shots three days in a row.
Since Brandon stopped attending classes in March, Silk has been on a mission to find out what Axe ingredient makes her son ill. The spray makes him nauseous, gives him headaches, causes blisters to spring up on his arms, and sometimes he goes into anaphylactic shock.
Unilever, which manufactures the spray, has been working with Silk to try to pinpoint the allergy. The company had been slow to cooperate because the make-up of the spray is considered proprietary information, Silk said.
While Silk appreciates Unilever’s efforts, there are 100s of chemicals in the two popular fragrances for which she requested the list, Silk said.
“They can’t be tested in a patch test,” she said. “There is no test out there that can test for these chemicals.”
She continues to work with scientists at Unilever. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia came to the conclusion the spray represents an environmental occupational hazard for Brandon, Silk said. She hopes the Bethlehem Area School District will eventually pass a policy banning Axe and similar sprays, which a school in Long Island has done.”
“It is something that Brandon can’t see,” his mother said. “These are chemicals in the air. He can’t get away from it. If he walks through a cloud of it after someone sprays themself, he can’t protect himself or know it is there.”
Boy, 12, collapsed and died after ‘using too much Lynx deodorant’
“Lynx cans warn that the product should be kept out of the reach of children, adding: ‘Use in well ventilated places, avoid prolonged spraying.'”
Fragrance chemicals are being implicated in numerous chronic health conditions. Perhaps these products are just not safe for kids (or anyone) to be around!!!
Go Fragrance Chemical Free!
Just like with smoking, if the policy isn’t enforced, it isn’t effective.
Make it clear that the policy applies to everyone,
and will be enforced
We all need fresh, clean, safe, non-toxic air to breathe!