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Fragrance sensitivity

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance Reactions' started by ladycatlover, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Fragrance sensitivity: why perfumed products can cause profound health problems. The Guardian, 15 September 2019

    An intolerance to manufactured scents can lead to migraines, respiratory issues and long-term sick leave. So should they be banned in public spaces?

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeand...d-products-can-cause-profound-health-problems

    (please note I've broken the above quote into several paragraphs for ease of reading. It's a single paragraph in the original article)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2022
  2. MeSci

    MeSci Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I studied this at length some years ago, being one of the many perfume-sensitives, and wrote this blog: https://freshairfiend.wordpress.com/

    There are an awful lot of different chemicals in even-individual perfumes.
     
  3. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The Grauniad is a bit slow to recognise MCS. :mad:

    I had a work placement with HSE back in around 1999 (?) (can't remember dates these days, but it was definitely before 2000). Part of the Applied Psychology degree I didn't finish. I looked at MCS and CFS/ME way back then as part of my placement (person I was "working" for knew I had ME). The Grauniad seems to think MCS is a more recent thing IYSWIM. It was becoming recognised 20 years ago. :rolleyes:
     
  4. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Invisible Woman, hinterland and MeSci like this.
  5. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Not to mention allergic reactions, as unfortunately happened to someone I know of on her wedding day - despite the invitations specifically asking people to avoid perfume/aftershave/hairspray. She ended up being hospitalised.

    Those scents have certainly triggered migraines in me before now.
     
  6. ProudActivist

    ProudActivist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Question about sensitivity to chemical fragrance:
    Do people think that exposure increases our sensitivity?

    I have just come back from a few days in a holiday cottage. We asked them not to spray air fresheners before we came but obviously they are used every other clean so there was plenty of fragrance still there. It wasn’t overpowering when I was there, though I was definitely aware of it. Now that I am home in my usual almost chemical free space everything I took absolutely stinks. My partner can’t smell it on things that I can barely get close to.

    In all other ways it was a perfect place and we want to book to go back next year, but I have this worry that a week being stewed in this stuff might mean I start to actually feel worse, as so many of us do, rather than just finding it intolerable. It is definitely worse for me than it used to be in terms of how sensitive I feel to the smell.

    Does anyone have any idea how these things get worse? I developed a dry/sore throat but otherwise am not aware that it affected me physically. There was a wood burner and it may have been the smoke/heat/firelighters (which were also vile but seemed necessary to make it work).

    I know so many people for whom chemical sensitivity is really bad and I don’t want to join them.

    I might send the above article or something similar to the holiday company and try to get them to change their products in the meantime, you never know...
     
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  7. ProudActivist

    ProudActivist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Does anyone have any decent articles about the types of people who react to chemical fragrance?
    Migraines, asthma, eczema, etc? I could use a simple explanation of the issues to share.
     
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  8. ProudActivist

    ProudActivist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  9. MeSci

    MeSci Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  10. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  11. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Using a steam cleaner gets rid of the need for many (but not all in my experience) household chemicals. It is cheaper in the long run and also greener.

    One of the ways you can use a steam cleaner (for those with dust allergies) is to close the doors and windows in a room and simply spray the steam into the air. Apparently this encourages the dust to fall onto any surfaces and can then be wiped away with a steamed cloth. I wonder if this method would also encapsulate scent particles?

    Maybe worth contacting a manufacturer like Polti or Karcher to find out? Some steamers such as the Polti Pocket are small enough to pack in the boot of the car to bring with you.
     
  12. RuthT

    RuthT Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thank you for this helpful info. could you say more about how what you use & how. Trying to find effective low energy cleaning methods.
     
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  13. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    First a warning - because you're not messing about with different products it's easy to get carried away and do a bit too much. So you'll be tackling one task and then think ooh, while I'm here I'll just....

    Also, steamers use triggers and if you do too much in one go I find it can trigger pain in my hand.

    I have tried a couple of steamers. I found the big ones a bit cumbersome and at the moment we have a polti pocket which is a smaller, easier to move in small spaces device. The downside - to move it you carry it. It's not particularly heavy though (for me). These days there are various other people like karcher and they might have products that suit better.

    The idea with steamers is not just the heat, but also the pressure at which the steam is released. The higher the bar (pressure rating) usually the more powerful and more expensive the device. Some steamers allow you to adjust the pressure downwards for more delicate jobs.

    Different heads or attachments are also available or come as standard with steamers. So you might get a head for floors, a window cleaning attachment, small nozzles that focus the steam and small brushes for cooker tops, taps etc..

    Cloths - some manufacturers sell their own cloths, but old tea towels, microfiber cloths are fine. Textured cloths are best as they "catch" and lift the dirt better.

    Some might involve spraying steam directly at the surface - ceramic tiles for example. Then you wipe them down with a cloth.

    Surfaces such as leather furniture, wooden furniture or flooring might be harmed by direct steam so you either put a cloth on the floor head (mine has grippers that hold a cloth to the head), or you spray the cloth with steam and then wipe the table, shelf, surface.

    Areas/jobs mine has been used -
    Dusting, floors, refreshing carpets, deoderizing/freshening cushions and dog beds, paintwork (good for taking small dirt marks off), windows, uPVC doors, garden furniture, kitchen counters and doors, bathroom fixtures.

    In terms of chemicals - in theory the temp of the steam is hot enough to sanitize. However when it comes to removing grease then it's not really enough on it's own, but using the steamer as well as your usual chemical of choice means you use a lot less chemical and need a lot less elbow grease.

    If you're in a hard water area you'll need to use an ampoule of Kalstop or something similar for every few tanks of water to prevent limescale build up in the boiler.

    To be honest - even with a steamer, although it takes less effort, it's still effort. There will still be bending, wiping pointing the nozzle and pulling the trigger. As we speak my own house needs a jolly good clean because I'm just not up to it and my husband can only do so much. If you can afford or persuade someone else to do it then that's much lower energy still! :)
     
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  14. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I recently been using these products. I don't know if the claims about bacteria/virus killing are true but they certainly don't upset me like usual cleaning products do as there is no odour & they work to clean stuff.

    https://www.dewproducts.co.uk/products
     
  15. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It took me a while to realize - I am more likely to react to an all natural product than one concocted in a lab. o_O

    Very annoying...and weird. Cosmetic, cleansers and what have you specially formulated for sensitive skin are nearly guaranteed to set me off.

    Some of the eco products set me off too. I can use persil no problem. Ecover triggers a reaction.

    Is it just me?
     
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  16. ProudActivist

    ProudActivist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  17. ProudActivist

    ProudActivist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks @JemPD i see there is a spray for the air there. I could suggest they switch!

    Thanks @Invisible Woman interesting idea to steam the air there! My partner may not relish the task but I will keep it in mind.
     
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  18. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    sorry not sure what you mean...? switch to what? The 'Air' spray is to naturally disinfect the air without chemicals. I use it after the Asda delivery men bring my shopping into the kitchen to help me unpack - they are often coughing & snivelling - because I cant get any through-flow of fresh air into my kitchen the way the windows are positioned. Also when I get into my carer's car immediately after she has dropped her grandchildren off... one of which invariably has a bug of some kind. It seems to work as I not caught anything so far yet this year - touch wood! But whether that is mere coincidence I wouldn't know. - it's like a really fine mist that you spray high up, it's odor free just like spraying water.

    It seems like it might be a total con to me, but i'm giving it a go, as there is nothing else I can really do to protect myself in those situations.
     
  19. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I find 'sensitive' formulations some of the worst, especially in skincare.
     
  20. Sing

    Sing Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Looking for good suggestions on how to get the fragrances etc out. I end up re-washing 4 or 5 times, one time with white vinegar. But even all this doesnt fully get rid of it.

    Manufacturers add sticking chemicals to the fragrances which make them bond closely with cloth. The fragrances themselves are made from the sweet smelling part of petroleum—bad for everyone. This part includes benzene, a known carcinogen, among other chemicals. In the U S A any product labelled a fragrance gets a free pass from the potential testing and scrutiny of the govt—afterall, we all “know” that fragrances are harmless, pleasant things, right?
     
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