Tag Archives: Health

NYC Health Department bans fragrances

The New York City health department is enacting some new rules for their employees to encourage healthier lifestyles and set better examples. This includes employees to refrain from wearing strong fragrances.  As someone who suffers from fragrance induced headaches, I applaud them. Click on the links to read more.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/04/04/2011-04-04_health_depts_new_guide_focuses_more_on_donts_than_dos.html

http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/national/nyc-health-department-unveils-new-employee-rules-20110405

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/136776/strict-new-guidelines-for-city-health-dept–workers

University examines fragrance free policy

Framingham State University in Massachusetts is considering a ban on fragrances, chemicals and tobacco. It is getting quite a buzz. Here is the link to the full story from The MetroWest Daily News.

Seems like most students dislike the idea. No one likes to be restricted especially when one’s in their 20’s. I am extremely sensitive to fragrances and get awful headaches from them. Do I think everyone should be forced to wear only fragrance free products? No, of course not, but it would be great if people were considerate enough to keep their fragrances in their personal space.  The policies are made for those people who leave “scent trails” behind, the people who fill a room with their fragrance long after they are gone. It is so inconsiderate of people to wear so much fragrance that it affects other people’s health. Many people’s health is affected negatively by fragrances from allergies and asthma to headaches and more serious issues like multiple chemical sensitivities.

I think if students and faculty members of this university would just tone the fragrances down a bit, there could be a happy compromise. I do applaud those at the University for opening up a dialogue about this topic and I hope others will take their lead.

Here is a TV story from FOX25 in Boston…. http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/local/framingham-state-weighs-fragrance-ban-on-campus-20110330

Portland may adopt Fragrance Free Policy

Portland Oregon’s city council is considering a workplace policy to restrict strong fragrances for those of us who have health issues. Go Portland!

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/02/government_employees_ditch_col.html

UPDATE: Portland approved the policy, workers have been asked not to wear strong scented products.

Hotels offering Fragrance Free/ Hypoallergenic Rooms

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts are now catering to those with allergies by providing hypoallergenic rooms. Smellinc likes this idea, especially the part about washing the lines in fragrance free detergent and offering fragrance free bath products! I hope more hotel chains adopt this idea. Here’s the article from The New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/business/11allergy.html?src=busln

UPDATE 6/9/11   Here is a link to a story about allergy free hotel rooms in the Orlando Florida area.

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/local/060811-allergy-free-hotel-rooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boy Hospitalized; Mom Sues over Fragrance use at School

A mother files a federal complaint after her son is hospitalized three times with anaphylactic shock from exposure to freshly sprayed perfume at school. She demands that the school establish a policy banning the spraying of perfumes, colognes and scented body sprays within his school environment.

Her 17 year old son has allergic reactions to fragrances sprayed in his immediate proximity which can cause his respiratory passages to close resulting in difficulty breathing.  The latest episode caused her son to be rushed to the hospitalized by ambulance with temporary loss of voice for a number of days.

The mother claims the Fort Wayne Indiana school district is refusing to protect her son which violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. She says she plead with the school nurse, principal and members of the school board and was dismissed.

She says her son “would be able to function and otherwise receive the benefit of a public education at Northrop High School, and avoid unnecessary risk to health and life, if provided the reasonable accommodation requested, specifically, reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices, designed to control, limit and restrain the presence of airborne chemicals to which plaintiff suffers grave allergy.”

Read the whole story and see the lawsuit at  http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/11/17/31910.htm

MY THOUGHTS: The AXE body spray clouds are so thick at high schools you could cut it with a knife. Poor kid. I luckily did not have my issues with fragrances when I was a teenager. I can not imagine how awful it must be for him. How hard would it be for the school to ban spraying of fragrances? Why would this even be an issue? Shouldn’t a student have the right to non hostile environment? Are any students harmed because they can’t spray their perfume while at school? How many times a day must students apply fragrances anyway? I hope the lawyers she hired are good…. can’t wait to hear the outcome.

What are you breathing? Study finds fragrances contain some surprising ingredients

Researchers at the University of Washington tested 25 cosmetic and cleaning products and found that each item contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with an average of 17 per product.

The researchers claim that many of the VOC’s are classified by the federal law as hazardous or toxic and some are possible carcinogens. These VOC’s are found in the fragrances of the products.

Companies are not required to list ingredients of fragrances. They are protected by trade secret laws and are self-regulated. The products in this study did not list the VOC ingredients on their labels so consumers have no idea they are present.

The study claims that even products labeled as “green”, “natural” or “organic” also contained VOC’s.

Some of the ingredients that were found were…

Acetone- Used in nail polish remover and as paint thinner

Ethanol- Used in drinking alcohol, fuel and solvents

Formaldehyde- Embalming fluid as known as the smelly liquid from biology class

Acetaldehyde- Found in tobacco smoke and car exhaust

Methanol- used in antifreeze, to make fuel and embalming

1,4 Dioxane- EPA classifies as a probable carcinogen and known irritant

Chloromethane- was used as a refrigerant but discontinued to concerns over toxicity and flammability

Methylene Chloride- used as a paint thinner and degreaser and OSHA considers it a potential carcinogen

See University of Washington Professor Anne Steinemann’s  research page for the complete study.

On a personal note: I suffer from migraine headaches caused by fragrances. I am very grateful that the researchers from University of Washington are doing these studies. I hope some day to figure out which chemicals are causing my neurological reactions. I encourage you to support the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 so that all fragrance ingredients are listed on the labels.

Teens Get Fierce on Abercrombie & Fitch

Teens organize protests against Abercrombie & Fitch’s practices of spraying their signature scent “Fierce” inside and outside their stores.  Teens from “teens turning green” joined forces with over two dozen other health advocacy groups and sent a letter to the CEO asking him to stop. They have concerns over how their fragrance can affect people’s health.

http://www.teensturninggreen.org/A&Fstopstinking

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/abercrombie–fitch-stop-spraying-toxic-fragrance-103952183.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/starre-vartan/abercrombie-and-fitch-ear_b_742599.html