Fragrance Sensitivity Awareness Slideshow

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…


Joyce’s Library Page

Her Weebly Site

And more…

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.


Fragrance in the Workplace: What Managers Need to Know

The Lung Association: Pollution and Air Quality


Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. I have forwarded this link to the Superintendent of Schools where I worked until I became disabled with MCS. After addressing the School Board, they are working toward reducing the fragrances in our schools. I thought this slideshow gives an excellent overview of the issues. I have also linked to it on my site. Thank you for your activism. This is a worldwide problem and if we all work to get the word out we can make a difference.

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      That’s so great. Brainstorming ideas is a great way to develop and implement strategies. I think you may need to keep at it. Don’t give up! For schools, it’s a multi-faceted issue; one that needs to be tackled from many angles. You are on the right path. The librarian who created this slideshow, although she is chemically sensitive herself, used great resources and research to get her points across–without making it personal. A difficult thing to do when in this position. :)

  2. Gail Banovez says:

    This is by far the best presentation of fragrance ‘sensitivity’ (I hate that word) that I’ve seen. I’ve had irritant induced asthma for 10 years and have had my quality of life plummet to nearly nothing – job gone, friends gone, self worth gone, etc, etc, etc. Thank you so much for your blog.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      I’m so happy that you like it. I was so impressed with the information provided that I just had to ask if I could put it up on my blog. I’m sorry that you’ve lost so much; the last couple of decades really have been a hard slog for people who are effected by fragrances. Sadly, more and more people are effected: it’s branched into so many immune based disorders that it’s impossible for the medical profession to ignore. In Australia we now have hospital guidelines that protect us if we need medical attention, also Access to building guidelines that we can use to gain access to places we normally couldn’t because of products worn by staff, and products used for cleaning these areas. This is mainly because of the disability act, but anyway we can manage to change things is great! Together we are many! If you would ever like to write something for my blog (about what has happened to you) please contact me. It can be anonymous, or under another name. You are worth gold, my dear. Just because society tries to exclude us does not mean we are less than them. Your contact has deepened my inspiration to help create a place where people are more aware of the products they use. Thank you for visiting.

  3. Good information! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Mary-Rose Birch says:

    i have suffered from chemical allergies for more that 25 years and my home has been chemical free for 24 years. I have loads of problems in the work place with colleagues wearing heavily scented fragrances …. some people even use more when asked to reduce the amount of fragrance that they use! Ty.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      That’s the problem, unless the request ‘not’ to wear it comes from upper management, some people will not take the matter seriously; and yes, sadly, they may then put even more on. It’s time for some government campaigns to raise awareness about this issue. I meet people every second day who have some type of problem with fragrance, or just feel better when not around it. For some people, in some cases, it’s worth taking the issue higher up: it can be stressful at first, but because the chemical components are hazardous, this is what makes it a Health and Safety issue in the workplace. The issue is the same as the smoking issue; except with this one their is more at stake: our immune systems!

  5. fascinating about the irritant- induced asthma since I have the same thing and most of the time have no idea what’s in the air, just I am choking to death….. so much fun living with a young woman who REFUSES to get it! GRRRRR… thanks for the link! take care of YOU! xox

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I have provided a link to this from my blog.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      Thank you too. I’ve had contact with Joyce Miller, the creator of the slideshow, and she is impressed with how quick it’s been picked up and shared around the world. So on her behalf, thank you too.


    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      Thanks so much, Sonda. I’m glad too. I’ll blog and show you some pictures soon. :)


  1. […] Michellina has a great slide show posted on her blog that makes it very clear why eliminating toxins especially in “fragrances” is a worldwide issue. […]

  2. […] slide show and info on Michellina’s site, I believe should be shared with every human on the planet. If you question why synthetic […]

  3. […] I am giving you this link to a Fragrance Sensitivity Awareness Slideshow courtesy of my friend Miche at the-labyrinth. […]

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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