As many of you know, I get severe, debilitating symptoms such as migraines, vertigo, paralysis, nausea, swelling of the brain and spinal cord, memory loss, cognitive dysfunction and more when I am exposed to the chemicals that make up fragrances in everyday products.
Like so many, I started having these adverse health effects from regular, everyday products. First it started with cigarette smoke, then strong perfumes, then any perfume. Later, it progressed to air fresheners, laundry detergents and now it is any product that has a fragrance.
Adverse reactions to chemicals that make up fragrances is not rare and it is not something just I have. In 1996, the California Health Services Dept found that 15.9% reported being unusually sensitive to everyday chemical. In 2009, University of Washington discovered that 30.5% reported they find scented products on other people irritating. I am sure there are many more who have headaches and other symptoms, but have yet to make the correlation.
It is not the smell that is the issue, it is the chemicals. The term “fragrance” is considered a trade secret, therefore companies can use any conglomeration of chemicals they desire to create their fragrance. These chemicals can attack the nervous, immune and hormone systems.
“A study led by the University of Washington discovered that 25 commonly used scented products emit an average of 17 chemicals each. Of the 133 different chemicals detected, nearly a quarter are classified as toxic or hazardous under at least one federal law” (Steinemann, UW 2010).
As you can imagine, I am very isolated in my home most of the time. I cannot attend church, miss out on holidays, parties, weddings, graduations, BBQ’s and simple visit. I often go many months without having human interaction and touch with friends. I do have a couple of places I can go once in a while when the environment is controlled, the people I am with are fragrance free and it is during off hours. However, most friends and family still use fragranced products.
I wish I had known what I know now and hope that others will take heed. I hope that more people decide to make a change for themselves as well as for me and the millions of others like myself.
Read More About My Environmental Illness
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Watch My Video, Choose Friendships Over Fragrances
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Please “Choose Friendships Over Fragrances!” Visit the Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign for more information.