Scents From Any Product

Awareness is the key. This can be important for any being. Infant, teen, elder or pet.

A Sensory Assault

Fragrance allergy is the immune system reacting to one or more chemicals in any product. Perfume, after shave, deodorant, laundry detergent, hand cream, cleaning products, or any scented product. Organic scents can also trigger an allergic response. Scent is loved by some but often makes others sick. Often the person wearing the scent is not aware of the scent and how it affects others.

Complex Chemical Formulas

Identifying the exact cause of irritation or allergy can also be difficult because many products have complex chemical formulas.

  1. Researchers from the University of West Georgia state that “30.5% of the general population reported scented products on others irritating, 19% reported adverse health effects from air fresheners, and 10.9% reported irritation by scented laundry products vented outside.”
  2. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted an investigation into fragrances, perfumes and colognes and found several areas of concern, including that “16% of products reviewed contained cancer-causing ingredients” and “76% contained ingredients that are considered allergens.”
  3. Dr. Roy Fox, medical director of the Nova Scotia Environmental Health Centre (Canada’s leading centre for people who suffer from environmental sensitivities), notes that surveys show about 16 percent of the population now reports sensitivity to environmental triggers such as strong odours, and about five percent of people report the symptoms are severe enough that they are made physically ill. Fox says a fascinating series of studies out of Sweden has shown that some sensitive individuals react even when wearing a sealed mask and breathing fresh air. When a fragrance was released into the room without the subjects’ knowledge, the mask meant they couldn’t smell it or breathe it into their lungs, but still they began to show symptoms. The researchers concluded the fragrance may be triggering symptoms upon exposure to patients’ eyes or skin.
  4. According to the Committee on Science & Technology, “Approximately 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum.” What’s more, “Petroleum based chemicals are being found to cause significant attritional effects to the nervous system and immune system after prolonged exposure. Illnesses identified in the medical research include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child behavior disorders including learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity and ADD.

Air fresheners alone often contain hazardous ingredients like dichlorobenzene, a lung irritant and a central nervous system depressant, and benzyl alcohol, a known cause of headaches and lung irritation.

Symptoms Are Real

Symptoms commonly experienced by those with true fragrance allergies include, headaches, nausea and skin irritations such as redness, itching and burning. Watery, itching, burning and red eyes, sneezing, runny nose and congestion are also common. In some cases individuals experience breathing difficulties. Stomach issues.

Current Fragrance Trends

One thing is certain: In the last five years, scent-awareness policies have increasingly been posted in public spaces, and it is not uncommon now to see “Please, no scent” signs in many Canadian hospitals, universities, libraries, doctors’ and dentists’ offices and workplaces.

Simply Moments Trigger Reactions

You walk into a friend’s home and smell freshly baked pumpkin pie. Only after you start sneezing uncontrollably and feeling dizzy, weak, and sick to your stomach do you learn she hasn’t been baking — she’s been burning a scented candle.

As a health problem, this sensitivity alone affects more than 2 million people, and studies suggest that sensitivity is on the rise. According to the AAD, some 5,000 different fragrances — and countless other fragrance combinations — are used in products today. And they can be a powerful, toxic brew.

“Being forced to breathe in others’ fragrance choices is a lot like being forced to breathe in secondhand smoke,” Dalton tells WebMD. “It’s a loss of control over your personal environment, and for some it can have serious personal health consequences.”

Recognize The Problem

One important thing you can do is get other people to recognize that it’s a problem, not only for you, but for everyone who is exposed. And if you do it in a courteous way, you can sometimes get good results.

This is my communication to you that I suffer allergic reactions from scents to the degree that I can not work when in reaction. Please refrain from wearing fragrance during our time together. Thank you!

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Ema Drouillard, Officiant/ Photographer Offering Intimate Wedding Events in San Francisco, Sonoma & Marin