Fragrances and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Approximately 12% of the US population now experience Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (that’s more than 38 million people).
Those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) have reactions from exposure to common manmade chemicals found in everyday consumer products. Reactions range from moderate to severe to fatal, and can be brought on at a moment’s notice in response to a stray or unexpected exposure.
These reactions can present themselves as virtually any symptom in any body system—most predominantly in the immune and nervous system, but also in the gut and in muscles and joints.
Life is difficult for people with MCS because so many common chemicals can trigger reactions. Simple things like washing dishes can cause a reaction from the chlorine fumes rising from the hot water and the fragrance in the dishwashing detergent. Even receiving a hug can cause a reaction if the person is wearing perfume or aftershave or wearing clothing washed with scented detergent.
In fact, most chemicals that people with MCS react to are in products that are not generally considered toxic, like formaldehyde on permanent press bedsheets, many chemicals in wall-to-wall carpet, and scent in a favorite soap.
While the chemicals a person with MCS reacts to are unique to the person, one class of chemicals that cause reactions for virtually all people with MCS are products with synthetic scents. (Many people with MCS also react to natural fragrances such as essential oils, but these are not usually toxic. If you know someone with MCS, it’s best to check with them to see what fragrances they react to.)
Scents are included in a very large range of products including, but not limited to:
• Colognes, aftershaves, and perfumes
• shampoo and conditioners
• lotions and creams
• industrial and household chemicals
• air fresheners and deodorizers
• some types of garbage bags
Some products which claim to be ‘scent free’ may have only masked the scent by use of an additional chemical. It’s important to research products carefully if you are using products around those who are sensitive.
Another source of scent that may cause a reaction for those with MCS is your body or your clothing. If you have taken a shower with a scented or deodorant soap, there will be a residue that they can smell and react to. Likewise, laundry detergents have some of the strongest scents, which can be noticed even ten feet away.
Even if you don’t personally know someone who is sensitive to scent, with more than 38 million sensitive people around, you never know when one will be affected by the scent of your body and laundry products.
But even more important to understand is that these chemicals used to make fragrances are toxic and they are affecting your own health as well, even if you seem to be healthy right now. If you have babies or children, they should not be around synthetic fragrances either.
If you live or work with someone with MCS, see if you can make a Fragrance-Free Zone for them. Best would be for everyone in the home or office to go fragrance-free. If that’s not possible, choose a separate room in the home or office that is designated Fragrance-Free, so the sensitive person will have a safe place to be.
How to Remove Fragrances with an air purifier
Air purifiers can also be used to rid the air of fragrances, particularly in a Fragrance-Free Zone where someone might come in with fragrance. It is important to have the means to address and neutralize fragrances and chemical odors when they come into contact with your Fragrance-Free zone. The EnviroKlenz-Mobile Air System can be deployed in any home or business to remove fragrances and chemical odors from the air without releasing any chemicals back into the environment. The mobile system is equipped with both an HEPA and pre-filter to protect you indoor air quality from dander, dust, allergens and most importantly chemical odors that serve as a trigger for your allergies and chemical sensitivities. For more information on the EnviroKlenz Mobile Air system click the learn more button below.