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Going to church can be a problem for people who need to avoid fragrances. This section lists some resources for more information.
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.
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:
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 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 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."
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 following sources may have a variety of less toxic personal and cleaning products suitable for you -
The following group has a poster available promoting "The Smell of Nothing."
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
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 -
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
Let's work together to get hospitals and other large health care facilities fragrance free!
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.