Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Government offices and hospitals ban fragrances

Policies promise relief to allergy sufferers and chemically sensitive persons
Public buildings with a no-scent policy can help
provide relief to allergy and MCS sufferers.

As chemical sensitivity and allergy rates soar, many public buildings have become a “no-scent” zone to accommodate those who may react to strong fragrances and perfumes.

In Tuttle, Oklahoma, city hall visitors wearing perfumes are asked to remain at the front of the building. City workers in Portland, Oregon, have been banned from using fragrance.

A medical center in Bremerton, Washington, also asks employees and visitors to skip scents and to choose less fragrant flowers, while a hospital in Windom, Minnesota has been fragrance-free since 1999.

Why are fragrances and perfumes bad?

Perfumes and fragrances, or aroma compounds, are chemical compounds that have a smell or odor.

Perfumes can also contain essential oils, solvents and fixatives. The precise formula of commercial perfumes and fragrances is often kept secret.

Evidence in peer-reviewed journals shows that some fragrances can cause asthmatic reactions in some individuals, especially those with severe or atopic asthma. Many fragrance ingredients can also cause headaches, allergic skin reactions or nausea.

In a two-phase population study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, perfume was one of three main culprits of triggering attacks in people with chemical sensitivities, along with cleaning agents and pesticides.

Source: USA Today, other

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