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12 thoughts on “Gripes”

  1. WOW! I am so glad to find this site!
    My problem is basically at work (Dr.’s office!) my office is directly across from the employee bathroom and “air freshener” is used daily, multiple times! I constantly have my fan running, open my one window (regardless of temperature – I would rather freeze or sweat than suffocate) I have tried posting
    different notes directly on the cans i.e.”causes headaches, burning nostrils and naseau please use sparingly, turn on exhaust fan and shut door – thanks” But all the other employees think I am wierd or something. They may make effort for a few days then go back to their old ways. One day I returned from lunch and could smell “it” as soon as I walked in the front door, even though my office is in the back. Unfortuanate for me, I had a mini-breakdown, noisily flipped on the exhaust fan, slammed the bathroom door and then my office door and just screamed I’m #@$#@ SUFFOCATING!!! This is not the professional manner that I wish to demonstrate but I don’t know how to get them to realize how much I am suffering.
    I can’t move my office because the other rooms don’t have windows and I feel like I crave fresh air constantly.
    Any suggestions (besides quitting this job?) Until I saw this website, I felt so alone ! Thanks for being here ! I’ll be back soon!

  2. Well, if it’s a can of “air freshener”, I might see to it that it keeps disappearing. Tee Hee.

    I had a similar problem with one of those that spews “air freshener” every so often. One day it seemed like every time I went in there it sprayed me. I was livid. Eventually, I was able to convince them to keep the machine off in one of the restrooms. But I also endured many of the you-must-be-crazy looks.

    Is management any help?

    Welcome to the blog. Feel free to leave comments or gripes.

  3. I have actually tossed cans in the trash before but someone retrieved them!
    Management, unfortunately, is one of the worst offenders. It is a small office (the Dr. and 4 employees, including me).
    They did switch to phalates free Febreze Air Effects after I posted a copy of a 9/19/07 article about a study done by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) showing that products with phalates may affect hormone and reproductive development and cause birth defects. They also discontinued using the citrus spray which the study showed contains terpenes, that react with ozone to produce formeldehyde (linked to cancers of the upper airway). The NRDC also found that in addition to formeldahyde, some air fresheners contain benzene, known to cause leukemia in humans!
    I guess I should be thankful that my concerns weren’t completely ignored. But it all smells bad to me!
    I’ve always felt that constant exposure to these products can’t be good for me. After reading about the NRDC study, I became really concerned for my health. It has caused quite a bit of anxiety for me. Thanks for letting me share my story!

  4. I wonder if there might be a market for a contraption one can wear over the nose, like a face mask except smaller and with some sort of screen built-in to de-scent the air. I have myself often wished to have something like that handy. I won’t look pretty, but then I don’t care if I do if I am going nuts from the perfume and the deodorant people wear and whatever other things that emit scent.

  5. Well, I know that you can buy various masks that accomplish what you are after. My issue with any of that is that if someone reeks too much, then it winds up on my clothes and my hair!

  6. In the last 2 months, I noticed that my paper towels smell like menthol-particularly the cardboard roll. I’ve tried many brands, including Seventh Generation, and they all smell as if they have been chemically treated.
    I don’t know if this coincides with stores carrying scented garbage bags. I mention this because I purchased unscented bags and they clearly picked up the scent from adjacent boxes. Hefty and Glad advertise their “odor shield.” Perhaps it’s related?
    Does anyone else notice this smell on their paper towels?

  7. So New York city subway system uses these horribly artificially scented cleaning products for cleaning the tracks (Huh??) and inside some buses (the one I ride anyway). When I asked the bus driver when he was bothered by the strong smell, he said he couldn’t smell anything. I got a number and called to complain. The woman was so charming. She said I was not the first to have called to complain about this matter, and proceeded to read to me over the phone MTA (metropolitan transportation authority) regulations governing the use of cleaning product. It said they only uses stuff with two kinds of scents: banana and strawberry. That was just hilarious because they delude themselves thinking some shit synthesized in a lab some place could pass for what nature produces. I really wish I could live in a scentless world, this one isn’t it.

  8. This is my 1st visit to this site. Seems like a great site to start reserch. To all of the above comments. I am an Industrial Hygienist and this is one of my biggest issues when going into homes and testing air quality. There is a simple way for ANYBODY to look up any product on the market. You just need a little education to know how. This will change your life! I promise!! Take something simple like “hand sanatiser”. Purell or any other kind. Take all of the ingrediants regardless of percentage in product. Search the chemical on line and look for “health issues” associated with that chemical. Because that is actually what we and our families are breathing. Now, after the shock of the poisons are realized. Look at the other products you have in your home or business. For example air fresheners. Just about every chemical in the products are a carcinogen or produce serious to temporary severe symptoms. You will see what I mean. Try hair spray!! It’s no wonder why breast cancer rates are 1 in 3. GO GREEN!!!! Your health will appreciate it.

  9. I am disheartened there are so few of us. In my library, I constantly have change PC station in the middle of work because some perfumed individual has “moved in” next door. I often feel like going up to them and tell them how much they stink, yet, each time, civility prevails (on my part, that is).

  10. Yippeee I feel like gripping. I went to visit a friend who is normally so wonderful and considerate. Before I came she used a Swifter product for mopping her floor. I about died!!! It’s a new thing to hate. I already super hate Carpet fresh. Anyway, she hadn’t even realized it. I feel bad even with my friends who are sweet and try, I hate it when they inadvertantly can’t help using scented products. There are just toooo many things that can kill us, and there are more and more. Solution stay home, in my safe environment.

  11. Thank you so much for starting this site! It is so great to find others who’ve “been there” and understand. I’ve had very similar experiences: throwing out cans of air polluter and/or putting up signs in the restroom at a workplace. (the stuff is horrible anyway, but one spritz will usually do what they require. Why do people have to lay it on so heavily?) I’ve also had the childish selfish coworker who work too much perfume and, after I as politely and calmly as possible explained that I was sensitive to it, began wearing more, and more and MORE. It go so bad that another colleague who was not an MCS sufferer couldn’t stand it anymore, either, and also complained. Didn’t do any good. Do you all also notice that people take it so personally when you try to explain to them? Like you called them a dirty name or slapped their face, or something? I’ve had people tell me they have to keep applying their perfume or lotion or whatever because they can’t smell it after a while, which I guess is a “normal” reaction, but to me, another with a supersensitive sniffer, I smell it constantly. It’s like drowning in it–it fills my head and makes it hard to focus on anything else, which only furthers my frustration and anger over the situation.

    Fortunately, I’m able to handle most natural essential oils. I know some people have a hard time even with those. Also fortunately, I no longer have any of those work situations as I work from home. Unfortunately, I now have a home issue. I live in the upstairs of an old house split into two appartments. My current downstairs neighbor is mostly great. He’s a very nice man, and quiet, but he has gone and put scented air filters in the furnace!!! I spoke to him about this last winter and he took them out. BUT–NOW HE’S PUT THEM BACK AND I’M GOING NUTS!!!! I’ll have to talk to him again, but I hate the whole process. This shouldn’t even HAVE to be an issue. But, I refuse to suffer in my own home. My whole house reeks of fake “floral” toxic shit because my neighbor, understandably,doesn’t like the moldy smell from the unfinished cellar. But there has to be an alternative that doesn’t make me sick and crazy! I was going to give him some essential oil air freshener before and I wish I had, if I had known this would start up again. I probably will now, but like I said, I get so weary of having to confront people with this stuff and knowing they DON’T HAVE A CLUE. I’m sitting here with the window open as I type this. Insult to injury is I have my own heat up here, electric baseboard, so it comes on with the window open. Great. Raise my energy bill, too. And it doesn’t even really help get rid of the all-pervasive stink, either.

    Sorry this is so long, but thanks for the space to rant!

  12. WOW! Do I have a true story. Glad to find your site. I work for the government. We had water come into our building leaving horrendous odors …etc. My doctor banned me from the building until it was fixed. I have asthma & could have died. I did get worker’s comp for a short bit until they found me another office in another building.

    Perfumes, colognes, airfreshners, and some other fragerances trigger my asthma. We were successfully in getting a scent free restroom (after years of work). Employees are not to wear perfume to work. We have workers who have flatly told me they don’t care if it kills me because it is there “right” to wear perfume to work. Some of the supervisors won’t enforce the policy. I have asked them if the employee was lighting up cigs at their desk then would they say something. the perfumes are no different. All of this has drastically effect my relationships with others at work. I use to be a popular employee & all of this has caused a hostile work environment. It has been a living nightmare. I am now going to be a mobile worker so I don’t have to go into the office only one to two days per week. It is a solution for now. We need to change people’s hearts & have the laws enforce. By the way, my eployee hates me using the words, “this is covered under the ADA (American Disability Act)”. Breathing is a major function to maintain life. One of my biggest symptoms is I start losing my voice. It is like some one is choking me. It is hard to be nice under these circumstance. Hopefully we will be able to go further with our cause.

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