So many accessibility guidelines completely skip the fact that these necessary and super easy to implement accessibility measures make it possible for perhaps 1/3 of the population to use (or use without harm) a public (or other) washroom, and especially help provide access for those who have disabling chemical and or environmental “sensitivities” (a term that trivializes the condition and effects).
Fragranced products not only create accessibility barriers for people with chemical and environmental “sensitivities”, fragrance sensitivity, autism, sensory sensitivities, migraines, asthma, MCAS/MCAD, and others, but fragrance ingredients have been linked to a number of other short and serious long term health effects in the general population.
It has come to our attention that too many places that hang up a scent or fragrance-free sign in the front office, have air effers and scented soaps in the washrooms. That’s not how this is done.
How to Basics:
Accessible washrooms for people with environmental sensitivities
Image is of a public washroom with sinks on the left side, a cleaning cart in the middle, and garbage cans holding open the stall doors on the right. There are purple bars across the image with the following lines of accessibility tips text:
– increased ventilation
– NO air “fresheners”
– fragrance-free signs on door and mirrors
– fragrance-free, plant based hand soap
– fragrance-free, plant based cleaning products
– scent-free, biocide-free garbage bags
There may be a few other steps that can be taken, but these are critical
Fragranced consumer products:
exposures and effects from emissions.
… “Fragranced products also restrict access in society. Of the general population, 17.5 % were unable to use toilets in public places because of air fresheners or deodorizers, 14.1 % were unable to wash their hands with soap in public places because of fragranced soap, and 22.7 % were unable to go someplace because of the presence of a fragranced product.”
Overall, 34.7 % of the population reported health problems, such as migraine headaches and respiratory difficulties, when exposed to fragranced products.
18.6 % respiratory problems;
16.2 % mucosal symptoms;
15.7 % migraine headaches;
10.6 % skin problems;
8.0 % asthma attacks;
7.2 % neurological problems;
5.8 % cognitive problems;
5.5 % gastrointestinal problems;
4.4 % cardiovascular problems;
4.0 % immune system problems;
3.8 % musculoskeletal problems; and
1.7 % other.”
Ten questions concerning air fresheners
and indoor built environments
Air fresheners and indoor built environments: why air fresheners impair rather than improve indoor air quality, and pose health risks
Autism and effects from fragranced products.
“Among individuals with autism/ASDs, 83.7% report health problems when exposed to fragranced consumer products”…
Fragranced consumer products: effects on asthmatics
Among Americans with asthma/asthma-like conditions, 64.3% report health problems, such as breathing difficulties, when exposed to fragranced consumer products…
Help for How to Be Fragrance-Free
Includes accessible event planning resources
It’s good for you. It’s good for me.