Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Friday: The Truth About Fragrances

At my job, a temporary employee worked down the hall for about a week recently.  His cologne was so strong that it felt like I was walking into a gas chamber every time I passed his office.  This may seem dramatic, but many other employees noticed it too and we complained.  Unfortunately, we don't have a strict policy about fragrances and laws about allergies to fragrances are not very clear.  This issue has come up before and some have complained about discrimination.  So, I'd like to compare this to another issue that is similar to me.

Up to the late 1970s, it was legal to smoke in most office buildings, restaurants, bars, and other public places.  Working environments became the first places (besides hospitals) that began to ban smoking inside.  The obvious reason here involved the non-smoker.  Sure, a person has a right to smoke if they want, but should other people be subjected to that smoke all day long while they're working?  Of course not.

You may not see the parallel here, but it's definitely there.  Most fragrances have neurotoxins that affect the person wearing perfume or cologne, but also disturb anyone else trapped in the same room or office.  The US Department of Labor lists complaints about fragrance allergies on their website including headaches, nausea, breathing problems, difficulty concentrating and tingling of the lips and skin.  They recommend education in the workplace, but there is little talk about creating state or national bans on fragrances in the workplace.

If you wear commercial fragrances, you might want to think about what you're doing to your own body as well as those around you.  I once heard a popular health speaker mention an interaction with a woman while he was doing a book signing.  A cloud of toxic perfume surrounded her as she told him that she always has headaches.  He suggested that she stop wearing perfume immediately.  A year later he ran into her again and she said that she took his advice and the headaches disappeared.

There are other things a person can do to make sure they smell pleasant.  There are natural essential oils that are very concentrated, so only a little bit needs to be applied.  Also, a cleaner diet means a cleaner body.  Cutting out foods that build up toxic waste helps reduce body odor and brings out the more natural smells of the body that should never be offensive.  Covering the body with chemicals, in my opinion, is far more offensive anyway.

So, until there are laws banning toxic fragrances from public places, let's all do our part and contribute to cleaner workplaces.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

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