A Cry For Help

I received the following email last night – actually @ 2:11AM South Texas time. The author, who shall remain nameless, found my other site – Fragrance Free World – by searching on the phrase “fragrance and adhd” at Yahoo! It is most definitely a cry for help:

I’m a special education teacher with Seattle Public School District. One of my students wears hairspray and baby gel. I have had a strong reaction to both products. The ADHD kids in my classroom can’t stand the smell that this students gives off. The school district told me to submit a 504 because of my asthmatic reaction to this child. The Human Resources told me that I would have to take a medical leave of absent. They also told me that the child had a perfect right to wear the strong smelling products – no questions asked. The hell with the rest of us. I refuse to take a medical leave of absent. I need the name of a really good lawyer. Can you help me out here???? Thanks.

First, I have to say that I’ve had a theory for a long time that ADHD is caused by fragrances and other VOCs in our modern environment.

But this letter makes a good point. The right of a person to wear fragranced products should end where the breathing space of other people begins. It’s the same issue as smoking, when you get right down to it. Sadly, until the American Public really wakes up to this fact, there will be problems. It doesn’t help that the FDA doesn’t do anything about it. Probably too many contributions from the fragrance industry.

But, I digress. Let’s get back to the emailer’s problem. I don’t know from the email whether anyone has talked w/ the student wearing strongly fragranced products. It might be an idea. Although I know how defensive people can get.

But the author is correct. They shouldn’t have to take a leave of absence because of the inconsiderate behavior of a student. Sadly, the lawsuit option, or even the threat of one backed by a lawyer, might be an option.

Finding said lawyer could be difficult. The reaction of most people to this type of issue is often a roadblock. People don’t want to believe that someone could be allergic to fragrances or have health issues because of them. Probably b/c they don’t want to give up their own fragrances?

So, I know that in the past I’ve had readers who went the lawyer route. Is there anyone out there who can provide information on how you found a lawyer? If you have website links, or even searches you’ve done. Please leave a comment. Or if you have other information that could help this person – leave a comment.


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2 thoughts on “A Cry For Help”

  1. I don’t know the name of a lawyer, but we used to live in the Stanwood, WA area (north of Everett). About ten years ago, I knew of a teacher in the Marysville, WA school district with MCS. I wish I could remember her name, but I can’t. As I recall, she taught in one of their elementary schools. The district was very accomodating, requiring all students in the classroom to be frangrance-free. A large sign was posted on the door to the classroom also, and the janitor was not allowed to use the usual cleaning products in that classroom. It was taken very seriously by the school district administration and by students and parents. You might be able to get some help from someone in the Marysville school district on this.
    MCS is covered by the ADA. Try contacting someone at the federal government level, or even the state of Washington Department of Labor. You shouldn’t have to pay for this fight out of your own funds, when it is a law that public places of employment provide reasonable accomodation for your disability.

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