If you can smell it you’re breathing it in

Recently, someone found this blog by searching Google for:

If you can smell it you’re breathing it in

While I can’t really say why someone was doing that search, I felt that it was a very good point. For years, the fragrance industry has said that the only health issues that fragrances can possibly cause is contact dermatitis. They say it only touches the skin. It isn’t absorbed, it isn’t inhaled.

Logical thinking will tell you that this cannot be true. If you’re smelling something, then it at least got as far in as your nose, right? And even though it was claimed for years that something on the skin was not absorbed into the bloodstream, we now know that cannot be true. After all, that’s how the nicotine patch works. A patch treated with nicotine is applied to the skin and the nicotine is absorbed. Likewise the birth control patch. And the pain patches.

So, most definitely, if you can smell it you’re breathing it in. And it is getting into your bloodstream. Something to think about the next time you or someone else wants to use a fragrance.

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2 thoughts on “If you can smell it you’re breathing it in”

  1. I work in the Disability Services for Students Office at a college in Buffalo, NY and a faculty member down the hall wears an excessive amount of patchouli oil (2 different kinds). I am very allergic and I get temporal artery headaches, my throat swells up, etc. I went to the Administration and I was told in writing that I was not allowed to approach this person about her smell nor was I allowed to mention the horrible smell to students in our office. During our exam week, four students were nauseous and had headaches due to her patchouli oil perfume. Since I am not allowed to approach this person, my boss has asked this person several times to give me the name of the products she is wearing. It has been a year now, and I still do not know what she is wearing. I have gone to an ear, nose and throat doctor, seen an allergist, and a neurologist and still cannot give them the name of the products she is wearing.
    An air purification unit was installed inside our office in May 2007 but this does nothing to address the issue of the smell outside our office.

  2. Linda –

    I really feel for you in your situation. It such a tricky issue regarding rights. Someday I hope that everyone becomes aware of the health risks to everyone caused by fragrances.

    Meanwhile, good luck with your phone call to Ann Curry Thompson. Please keep us posted on your progress.

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