Joyce Miller, Professor of Library Science SUNY Adirondack, has researched and written a slideshow on Fragrance Awareness. It’s pretty neat! I especially appreciate the references and citations she has provided for us at the end. These are what just tops off a fantastic, insightful piece of work; there’s so much information on the internet, these days, that just doesn’t have the research to back it up. It’s a refreshing change to find something done so thoroughly; but Miller is a Professor of Library Science, after all…
Recently, there was an article, titled: ‘What smells good to one Staten Islander, may cause severe physical distress to another‘, in The Staten Island Advance, about Miller, and what it’s like to have her condition. She likens fragrance exposure to being forced to breathe through a cracked straw. The article, as the title suggests, is also about how one person’s fragrance can be an impediment on another person’s health and safety, which is something familiar to most people who frequent this blog:
“Just ask Joyce Miller, for whom a recent theater outing resulted in a pounding headache, coughing and difficulty breathing after a woman doused in perfume settled into the seat in front of her.
The 53-year-old former Stapleton resident was diagnosed with irritant-induced asthma a year ago, but says she first started experiencing symptoms two years before that.
In her job as a science librarian with SUNY Adirondack, Ms. Miller, who lives in Glen Falls, N.Y., shuttles between her private office to the more public arenas of research library and classroom.
“When someone sprays an aerosol product such as air freshener or hairspray,” she says, the effect for her is like “trying to breathe through a cracked straw.”
Dr. Kristine Krol, sub-specialty director of allergy and clinical immunology at Staten Island University Hospital, describes asthma as an inflammation of the lungs.
Irritant-induced asthma, like Ms. Miller’s, she says, differs from regular asthma in that it doesn’t require well-known allergens, like ragweed or cat hair, to trigger an attack. When exposed to the latter, the body releases a natural antibody called IgE that binds with the allergen. Cells in the lung release mediators such as histamines, part of the bodies immune response. However, with asthma the histamines over react to the foreign matter, producing inflammation.”
The article concludes with the information that it’s not the aroma of the products that’s the problem but the chemicals contained in the actual ingredients themselves; some of which have no odour. This is then followed up with a link to Miller’s slideshow.