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Fragrances Resources

Sections in this page -

Perfume-Free to Church

Going to church can be a problem for people who need to avoid fragrances. This section lists some resources for more information.

Fragrance Happenings and Notes

Here is a wide variety of resources for fragrances information. Mostly grouped them by category, but many of the resources cited have multiple sources embedded within them, so you'll have more sources, in these categories and more, once you start going through them.

Science and Activists

Here is a 2005 update to Betty Bridges' survey. (See below.) It includes a 17 page listing of places that are scent-free including churches, schools, government facilities, health care facilities, recreational facilities, lodging, etc. in the US and world-wide. It is available in .pdf at:

-- Peer-reviewed journal article (July 1999
Environmental Health Perspectives), by Betty Bridges, with a reference to a pertinent EHP article in 1998 that's also free online:

-- Betty Bridges' organization referenced in the above, the Fragrance Products
Information, http://www.fpinva.org/; and hundreds of examples of cities, hospitals, organizations, etc. with some kind of fragrance policy, though poorly organized, and last updated in 2001, and some links out of date, but a number of good examples mixed in here, at Betty Bridges, fpinva@fpinva.org

-- Barbara Wilkie, another long-time activist on fragrance issues:

Health Care Facilities

-- Health Care Without Harm
(a well-established group that has partnered with EPA to address various issues related to less-toxic health care facilities and processes (and also has a link to Betty Bridges URL):

-- American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
in conjunction with several other organizations noted in the first text at:

-- Massachusetts Nurses Association
publishing information from activist Peggy Wolff:

-- National Jewish fragrance policy:
(first item); also, NJ provides a full-size 8 1/2 x 11 page to new patients that states its no-fragrances policy, to make sure it stands out among all the paperwork.


-- Jefferson City (MO) Public Schools, fragrance policy: (at bottom)

Government and Legal Approaches

-- U.S. Dept. of Labor, Job and Accommodation Network (JAN)
addressing legal and ADA issues related to fragrances, and company and government agency approaches to fragrances:

-- U.S. Access Board (an independent federal agency)
fragrance-free policy at its meetings:

-- California Air Resources Board
major 2005 report on indoor air quality, which highlights air fresheners and personal care products as medium-priority items that must be better addressed (and some of these could've been rated as high-priority if some regulatory actions hadn't already been taken in California):

-- Halifax, NS ban in 2000:

-- 2007 Detroit lawsuit
(includes several dozen comments on the brief article - which you'd need to follow up on to learn its status - that reflect widespread concerns about fragrances):

Employee wins fragrance lawsuit

A former disc jockey in Detroit has won her lawsuit against the station that fired her in 2001. Erin Weber, 43, claimed a co-worker's perfume made her sick, and that station WYCD-FM, owned by Infinity Broadcasting, laid her off after Weber filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The company said it accommodated Weber's adverse reactions to perfumes. But the jury awarded Weber $10.6 million, after eight days of deliberations, according to a May 24, 2005, Detroit Free Press article. The company plans to appeal.

A Whiff of Danger, by Cynthia Washam

A class of widely used fragrances that are considered nontoxic may pose a hidden threat to human health by enhancing the effects of compounds that are toxic - a paradox discovered by Stanford University researchers, Till Luckenbach and David Epel, in a recent study of synthetic musk compounds. The discovery found that musks inhibited natural defenses against toxicants in California mussels, and that the effect remained long after exposure. This discovery is considered to have significance for human health.

The Human Ecologist, Winter 2005, page 26

Florida Courthouse Bans Incense

The facilities manager at the Palm Beach County Courthouse sent a warning to workers in the building that banned burning incense and using "scented potpourri and other chemicals." "It is just part of housekeeping" he said. "You have to establish guidelines that it is not appropriate because you are infringing on the rights of other everyone else."

The Human Ecologist, Fall 2005, page 6

Candles, Incense and Air Pollution in Church

Burning candles and incense in church can greatly increase indoor pollution levels. A study in a Netherlands Roman Catholic church found that the levels of particulates smaller than 10 microns (PM10) were 1,13 micrograms per cubic meter after candles were burned. In contrast, the outdoor levels at the PM10 level at the time were 53 micrograms per cubic meter. In addition, high levels of carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons were found in the church after the burning of scented candles.

The Human Ecologist, Fall 2005, page 10

Web Links for more Information about fragrances -

Less Toxic Personal Care and Cleaning Products

The following sources may have a variety of less toxic personal and cleaning products suitable for you -

Poster - The Smell of Nothing

The following group has a poster available promoting "The Smell of Nothing."

Invisible Disabilities Association, Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign (CIAC)

In 2006 the Invisible Disabilities Association launched the Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign (CIAC). IDA has been serving those with debilitating conditions since 1996.

The purpose of CIAC has been to provide information and support for those living with Environmental Illness, as well as helpful tools such as letters and posters for people to use to make changes in their community businesses, medical facilities and churches.

Invisible Disabilities Association

Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign

Campaign for Fragrance Free Hospitals in the U.S.

The following is a campaign to encourage hospitals and health care facilities to develop fragrace-free policies for the well-being of all their patients -

Campaign for Fragrance Free Hospitals in the U.S.
March 2006
Peggy Wolff, M.S., A.P.R.N., H.N.C.
Press Release -

The Environmental Health Coalition of Western Massachusetts (EHCWM) was awarded a mini-grant from the Nurses' Workgroup of Health Care Without Harm, an international organization committed to reducing toxic chemicals in health care facilities www.hcwh.org. This project's goals are to educate nurses about the health hazards of fragrance and empower fragrance sensitive individuals to advocate for fragrance policies/statements in our health care environments.

Approximately 20% of the U.S. population has some adverse health effects to fragrance. People who need to avoid fragrance know that it is not an issue of just dislike; it is a significant health issue. Health effects associated with fragrance include asthma, Reactive Airway Disease (RADS), difficulty breathing, coughing, fatigue, eye irritation, migraines, sinus problems, skin problems, hormonal imbalances, and many others.

The time has come to accommodate those with fragrance sensitivity and prevent others from developing health problems from fragrance exposure. Does your local hospital have a fragrance policy/statement? If so, could you obtain a copy and email it to the address below? If your hospital or other health care facility does not have a fragrance policy/statement, will you work with us to get such a policy?

Request a copy of EHCWM's brochure, "The Hidden Dangers of Fragrances" by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to

PO Box 187,
Northampton, MA
Contact information:
Email: info@peggywolff.com
Phone 413-367-9638
Fax 413-253-2150
Address: 126 Cave Hill Rd.
Leverett, MA

Let's work together to get hospitals and other large health care facilities fragrance free!

Articles on Fragrances -

The following article has been published in the magazine Alternative medicine by a RMEHA member -

Other articles of interest -

Follow the links below to learn more about RMEHA and Environmental Illness.

for EI's
for MCS
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Revised '10-Jun-2011,10:07:36'