I wanted to call attention to the comments left by Tess on the Welcome Page. She’s dealing w/ asthma caused by fragrances and is in need of help and moral support. If you have any advice or words of encouragement for her, why not leave a comment there. I believe she subscribed to comments on that page and so will be notified of your comment.
Yes, the Golden Rule applies here: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
If you had an allergy or other condition that was worsened in the presence of some substance, you would want to avoid it. And it should be reasonable to ask friends, family and co-workers to help by not using it in your presence. Yet it seems that when it comes to fragrance, the Golden Rule goes out the window. Honestly, I’ve had friends, family and co-workers that thought that I just didn’t *like* fragrance. So it was really OK to wear them in my presence. Which is baffling. People so often equate an allergy with dislike, which isn’t what it’s about. If it were something I just didn’t like, I would endure it. But there are serious health issues for those sensitive to perfume.
I’ve suspected for quite a while that the perfume issue was getting out of hand. More and more when I go out in public (which, btw, I do less and less), I wind up coming home reeking of all the other perfumes worn by other people. It is in my hair and on my clothes. I have been known to change my clothes and even wash my hair during the day because of this.
Well, this is an email from someone with no health issues from fragrances, just is offended by their overuse.
I don’t think I am “chemically sensitive” in a medical way. I just really hate stinky perfumes! Even though it does feel as though it gets up my nose, but I don’t actually get a headache from it. So many people think they should load on the fragrance whether they are going to the office or to the theater. What is the best thing to say? You can’t say “Boy, that’s a horrid, stinky scent you’re wearing!” How about “Oh, I’m sorry, but that heavy perfume you have on is too overpowering to me, so could you not come so close?” What if the person is your supervisor????
I’ve always wished I could just have a sneezing fit on demand. Or perhaps a coughing fit? Sadly, I’ve not found a nice way to tell someone that they reek. And it always seems that those who wear the most are the easiest offended. I can certainly sympathize with this reader though. And you really do have to tread lightly when it’s your supervisor.
Anyone have a good suggestion for this person? You’d be helping a lot of people. I know b/c quite a few people find this blog by posing a question like that in Google!
I receive emails via my other web site, Fragrance Free World, as well as from visitors to this site. I thought I would post some comments from a recently received email:
If exposed for more than 15-20 minutes can be under the weather, unable to sleep and depressed for 3-4 days thereafter
Air frsheners or fabric conditioners cause chest to tighten and breathing difficult
Sometimes feel that am tasting soap in my mouth and throat for hours afterwards
Have made my home free of chemicals and am well as long as I can avoid contact with V.O.C’s
Have followed development of REACH in the European parliament an am disappointed to see that 7 – 10 years will pass before chemical manufacturers need o show awareness and stringen safety controls so would just like to hear that someone out there is creating a greater awareness…..
I had not heard of REACH before so I thought I would do a bit of research.
Firstly, REACH is an acronym for : Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals. This is a law that went into effect in Europe on June 1, 2007. The overall goal appears to be to protect human health and the environment from toxic chemicals. Prior to this law, chemicals that were in use prior to 1981 were sort of ‘grandfathered’ – i.e. they were not subject to the same regulations as newer chemicals. You can read more about REACH on this web site. While it is true that industry has up to 11 (eleven!) years to comply, it is encouraging to know that more is being done about this issue.