Awareness is growing about the harmful effects of synthetic, artificial fragrances. This is with good reason, but now, many people have jumped onto the natural fragrance and essential oil (EO) bandwagons, believing them to be safe alternatives.
Is this a good thing?
Some believe so, after all, what could be wrong with something that’s natural?
It’s time to have a closer look.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Health, Human Rights
Tagged allergies, asthma, autism, cancer, chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, essential oils, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, hospitals, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, perfume, scent, VOCs
Melanie and Jaiden
When I wear my mask I noticed people couldn’t see me smile at them and would avert their eyes and not smile at me.
I will usually speak and say hello. Most people will nod or say hello back even if they don’t smile or look at my eyes. Some will shrink away like I have Ebola. I’ve felt like a leper when that happens. I just hate that my kids are learning that lesson about humanity so young. I hope it will help instill a more compassionate nature in them as they see how not to be.
I started using fabric stickers on my mask sometimes and noticed that people would smile at them. I felt less invisible even if it was my stickers they smiled at more than me. I have several different ones including penguins, crosses, and holiday relevant ones I wear around Christmas time.
Posted in Air Quality, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fashion, Fragrance, Pollution
Tagged allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, Chemicals, dizziness, Fragrance, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, IAQ, invisible disabilities, masks, MCS, migraines, multiple chemical sensitivities, perfume, petrochemicals, toxic trespass
Guest post by By Heidi Utz
Several years ago, I posed to my women’s group a simple question: Can we ask members not to wear fragrances here? A hush fell over the room, then a silence so vast you could have heard a vial of Obsession drop. The same sweet women I’d grown to respect morphed into a pack of rabid wolves. No perfume?! It was as if I’d proposed giving up coffee, sugar, and styling gel in one fell swoop.
Since then, I have spent much time puzzling over their response. Are we so addicted to our scented products that the very notion of relinquishing them strikes terror in our hearts? Or is it more that the perfume industry has done such a stellar job in marketing its wares? Even in Santa Fe, where a comparatively high level of health-consciousness exists, we’re still susceptible to those redolent magazine ads, featuring the young and glossily naked in their evidently perfume-induced attractiveness.
But what if perfumiers, like chemical producers, were forced to include in their ads the manufacturer’s safety data sheets (i.e., the very interesting ways each spritz affects your liver)? Sound far-fetched?
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Fragrance, Health
Tagged addiction, barriers to access, central nervous system, fragrance chemicals, fragrance-free, marketing, MCS, Mold, perfume, toxic chemicals, women
Fragrances Can Cause or Trigger Work-related Asthma
The Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) of the California Department of Public Health released new fact sheets on fragrances and work-related asthma.
2017 Fragrances and Work-Related Asthma: Information for Workers (PDF) – fact sheet
2017 Fragrances and Work-Related Asthma: Information for Employers (PDF) – fact sheet
2015 (editable) Workplace Fragrance-Free Policy (Word) – fact sheet
Posted in Air Quality, Chemicals, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Human Rights, Indoor Air Quality, Policy, Public Health
Tagged air freshener, asthma, cleaning products, daycares, fragrance-free, fragrance-free policy, hospitals, laundry, manufacturing, offices, perfume, personal care, resources, retail, schools, work
Guest Post by Leah Spitzer
I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) – a “multi-system illnesses as a result of contact with, or proximity to, a variety of airborne agents and other substances. (Environmental Protection Agency).” In other words, I react to fragrances, building products and more. It is not a histamine reaction, but rather, a systemic reaction to the chemicals in fragrance and other products.
As someone with MCS, I’m also known as a “canary” with deference to the Canaries in the Coal Mine. As a canary, I often encounter looks of disbelief when I mention I can smell someone’s laundry detergent, or fragrance. I can smell it on them, their dog, their cat, their clothes, or even the package they are bringing me. I smell it in their home and in their car.
Often times, if it’s just a passing moment, I try to step back, or just tough it out, but sometimes I have to speak out. When I do, the most common response, after the surprised look, are:
“I didn’t put any perfume on this morning”
“I don’t smell anything”
Why the disparity in perception? There are several reasons that I have observed:
Posted in Air Quality, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fragrance, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Tagged canary, fragrance chemicals, fresh, laundry products, MCS, MCS/ES, perfume, petrochemicals