High school student Brandon Silk has been treated by his doctors for allergies to Axe Body Spray for a few years. Recent exposure to the fragrance in the hallways of his high school caused him to be rushed to the hospital when his throat swelled causing him to have difficulty breathing. His throat swelled twice before when exposed to the same smell at school. Now his mother is scared to let him go back to school and wants Unilever to disclose the ingredients of the body spray to help determine what is causing his allergic reaction.
Brandon and his mother talked to local TV station WFMZ. Please watch their story and read the article by WFMZ for details….
The Bethlehem Pennsylvania school where Brandon attends has put out a statement to parents on their website urging students not to wear Axe body spray due to Brandon’s allergy. This is a great gesture by the school. I wonder how it will be enforced and for how long?
I am also scent sensitive and am touched by the reactions of many of the students at that school. Some suggest lobbying Unilever to disclose the ingredients for Brandon by posting to Axe’s Facebook page. Check out a video of reactions of students created by a local newspaper. I love their comments.
Smell Inc supports Brandon’s mom, Rosa Silk, and her quest to get the ingredients disclosed by Unilever. Unfortunately it’s an uphill battle. There is no legislation requiring these cosmetic companies to release the ingredients of the fragrance. The Environmental Working Group has proposed the safe cosmetics act to try to get this changed in the cosmetic industry.
Rosa isn’t the first mom to take on Unilever regarding severe allergies to Axe. Read about the 2010 lawsuit filled in Indiana from an earlier post here at Smell Inc.
Something must be done. Body Spray, fragrances, perfumes, colognes…. it’s getting more and more obnoxious and it’s affecting others. When did it become trendy to reek? And when will these fragrances be considered second-hand scents and treated with the same regard as cigarette smoke. It’s affecting people the same way.
Posted in Health
Tagged allergies, allergy, axe body spray, bethlehem, brandon silk, breathing, cologne, cosmetic, disclose, er, exposed, fragrance, freedom high school, Health, high school, hospital, industry, ingredients, obnoxious, pennsylvania, perfume, reek, Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, scent, second hand, second hand scents, sensitive, smell, smell inc, smellinc, students, swelling, throat, Unilever
A new study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) discusses how and why air freshners can affect our health.
The study talks about volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being found in numerous home fragrance products. Some VOCs include formaldehyde, terpenes, benzene, alcohols and ammonia. Certain chemicals found in fragrances contain ingredients considered toxic or hazardous under federal laws. VOCs can trigger headaches and respiratory tract irritation. There are also concerns about phthalates being discovered in fragrances which have been reported to cause hormone disruptions and cancer.
Statistics from the study “Is that Breath of Fresh Air Really Fresh? Do air freshners help?”….
- 20% of general population and 34% of asthmatics reported health problems from air freshners.
- 30% of general population and 38% of asthmatics reported problems when exposed to other’s scented products.
- 58% of people with chemical sensitivity report health problems from air freshners.
This presentation suggested that doctors consider fragrance exposure in diagnosis and discuss the problems of fragrances with their patients. They even recommended one patient stop wearing perfume and using home air fragrances as part of her allergy treatment.
Please look at the original study, here is the link
If you would like more info from the ACAAI conference use this link
Posted in Health
Tagged air freshners, allergy, asthma, chemical, chemical sensitivity, doctors, exposure, fragrances, fresh air, headaches, Health, home, patients, perfume, respiratory, scent, study, voc's
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.
UPDATE 6/9/11 Here is a link to a story about allergy free hotel rooms in the Orlando Florida area.
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.
Posted in Society & Fragrances
Tagged allergies, allergy, Americans with Disabilities Act, anaphylactic shock, asthma, cologne, fort wayne, fragrances, Health, high school, lawsuit, mom, mother, multiple chemical sensitivity, no perfume policy, northrop high school, perfume, scented sprays