Walk A Mile In Our Shoes – Part 2

As I’ve mentioned previously, Susan McBride has sued the city of Detroit to have her co-workers banned from wearing perfume at work. Not surprisingly, this has drawn a lot of reaction from a lot of people. Just do a google search and you’ll find websites that post the article and allow their visitors to comment.

This is part 2 of my series where I address some of the comments I’ve heard and read and provide a view from someone who suffers similar problems to those of Susan McBride. If you missed part 1, read it here.

4) “You made this up

Why? Why in the world would all these people claim this problem if they didn’t have it?

Let’s see what impact fragrance issues have had on me:

  • I’ve pretty much taken myself out of the mainstream workforce. Even though I need to work to live like everyone else.
  • I’ve chosen, instead, to start up my own business. So, laziness is not part of my problem.
  • I’m isolated to the point that there are only a handful of places that I can go without problem. And even the grocery store isn’t on my list. Heck, if I wanted to be a hermit, I would just become one.
  • I’ve created a website and a blog to bring this to everyone’s attention.

And I made this up? Hah!

There are some that understand. When I worked in an office, I had one observant co-worker. He said that he could see in my face that I started out looking good on Monday and as the week progressed, I looked sicker and sicker. (Too bad management couldn’t figure that out.)

5) “That is a frivolous lawsuit

You know, I am definitely not lawsuit happy. I’m pretty much against what are commonly called frivolous lawsuits. Like the judge who sued the dry cleaner fo $65 million b/c they lost his pants! (He lost, thank goodness.)

But I don’t believe that this case is in that category. To call it frivolous says that you don’t understand and don’t want to understand what is behind it. These health problems ARE real, and they impact far more people than you or I know.

What is frivolous is this insistence on wearing perfume, even in the face of the fact that you are impacting the health of those around you.

6) “There’s really nothing harmful in fragrances. What’s the big deal?

The fragrance industry has hood-winked, er I mean lobbied, the FDA into believing that the ingredients in their fragrances are a “trade secret.” To reveal the ingredients would impact their profit margins. So in reality, we don’t really know what’s in a fragrance.

Studies have been done, chemical analysis has been made, and a whole list of compounds known as VOCs have been found to be in fragrances. Ingredients include many of the compounds, such as benzene, that are known carcinogens.

Whole groups of people protest whenever they learn of ground contamination with these compounds. Why? Because it gets into our drinking water. So, let’s think about this a minute. What happens to the fragrances we use, as well as the fragrances in our laundry soap, bath soap, cleaning products, shampoos, hair conditioners, deodorants, etc. Yup! Eventually, they all wind up contaminating our drinking water.

Stay tuned, I’ll have more comments next week.

Walk A Mile In Our Shoes – Part 1
Walk A Mile In Our Shoes – Part 3

Latest posts by Barbara (see all)

4 thoughts on “Walk A Mile In Our Shoes – Part 2”

  1. I wish Susan McBride the best! Wish I knew how to contact her to lend some support, but maybe she’ll see this blog =)

    I left the workplace in 2002 because chemicals/fragrances were increasing the intensity/frequency of my migraines.

  2. I would REALLY like to find out how Susan began the process of the lawsuit. I am in the same situation. And it is SO unfortunate that the ONLY way to get through to companies and co-workers is by suing. I work at a large telecommunitcations company and HR had 2 suggestons: work at home OR they will get me a cube far far away from the workforce. PLUS I had someone that STATED she DELIBERATELY wore her perfume.

  3. I also wish I knew the above for the same reasons and more. I was just laid off due to the same reason. It Was easier to let me go than infringe on other workers hygeine rights and the sadess part is I worked at a health facilty. I am so offended. I guess we have no rights to breathe free from other peoples chemicals. I am so glad she won that lawsuit and I hope that I can somehow make a difference for others to.

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