Full Text of the Latest Australian Fragrance Study by Professor Anne Steinemann—for Translation Purposes

Health and societal effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products

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Anne Steinemann

Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia College of Science, Technology and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia Climate, Atmospheric Sciences, and Physical Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Article Information

Article history: Received 25 September 2016 Received in revised form 5 November 2016 Accepted 12 November 2016 Available online 14 November 2016

Abstract

Fragranced consumer products—such as air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and personal care products— pervade society. This study investigated the occurrence and types of adverse effects associated with exposure to fragranced products in Australia, and opportunities for prevention. Data were collected in June 2016 using an online survey with a representative national sample (n = 1098). Overall, 33% of Australians report health problems, such as migraine headaches and asthma attacks, when exposed to fragranced products. Of these health effects, more than half (17.1%) could be considered disabling under the Australian Disability Discrimination Act. Additionally, 7.7% of Australians have lost workdays or a job due to illness from fragranced product exposure in the workplace, 16.4% reported health problems when exposed to air fresheners or deodorizers, 15.3% from being in a room after it was cleaned with scented products, and 16.7% would enter but then leave a business as quickly as possible due to fragranced products. About twice as many respondents would prefer that workplaces, health care facilities and professionals, hotels, and airplanes were fragrance-free rather than fragranced. While 73.7% were not aware that fragranced products, even ones called green and organic, emitted hazardous air pollutants, 56.3% would not continue to use a product if they knew it did. This is the first study in Australia to assess the extent of adverse effects associated with exposure to common fragranced products. It provides compelling evidence for the importance and value of reducing fragranced product exposure in order to reduce and prevent adverse health effects and costs.

1. Introduction

Contrary to popular belief, most exposure to hazardous pollutants that affect health and wellbeing occurs indoors (Ott et al., 2007; Brown, 2007). A primary source of these indoor pollutants and exposures is common fragranced consumer products, such as air fresheners, cleaning products, laundry supplies, and personal care products (Cheng et al., 2015; Nazaroff and Weschler, 2004; Steinemann et al., 2011). Exposure to fragranced products has been associated with a range of adverse human health effects, including migraine headaches, contact dermatitis, asthma attacks, respiratory difficulties, and mucosal symptoms (e.g., Kelman, 2004; Caress and Steinemann, 2009; Elberling et al., 2005; Millqvist et al., 1999; Johansen, 2003; Kumar et al., 1995). In two previous surveys, Caress and Steinemann (2009) found that 17.5% and 20.5% of the general US population (between 2002–3 and 2005–6 respectively) reported breathing difficulties, headaches, or other health problems when exposed to air fresheners and deodorizers. Fragranced consumer products emit dozens of different volatile compounds, including terpenes (e.g., limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene) that are primary pollutants, and that react with ozone to generate secondary pollutants such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde (Nazaroff and Weschler, 2004). Even so-called green and organic fragranced products emit hazardous pollutants, similar to regular fragranced products. Little information exists, however, on potentially hazardous compounds emitted from fragranced products, in part because products are not required to disclose all ingredients (Steinemann, 2015). Thus, knowledge of potential exposures and effects is essential to effective risk reduction. This study investigates the occurrence and types of exposures to fragranced products and associated health and societal effects in the Australian population. Further, it investigates the potential for preventive measures, such as fragrance-free policies, to reduce health risks and costs.

2. Methods

An on-line survey was conducted of the adult Australian population, using a national random sample representative of age, gender, and state (n = 1098, 95% confidence level with a 3% margin of error). The survey instrument, a 35 item questionnaire, was developed and tested over a two-year period, including cognitive testing with 10 individuals and piloting with over 100 individuals, before full implementation in June 2016. The survey drew upon participants from a large web-based Australian panel (over 200,000 people) held by Survey Sampling Interna- tional. Participant recruitment followed a randomized process (SSI, 2016) with an open invitation, rather than a direct invite, to the pool of panelists available at the time. The pool was filtered to achieve a representative sample through a set of initial questions for basic demographic characteristics. All responses were anonymous. Average survey completion time was approximately 10 min. Survey response rate was 93%. Only completed questionnaires were included in the final data analysis. The research study received ethics approval from the University of Melbourne. Details of the survey methodology, as well as statistical analyses of questionnaire data and for results summa- rized below, are provided as supplemental documents. The questionnaire investigated both personal and public exposure to fragranced products, health effects related to exposures, impacts of fragrance exposure in the workplace and in public places, awareness of fragranced product ingredients and labeling, preferences for fragrance-free environments and policies, and demographic information. The questionnaire provided one question on each page, with multiple choice and open format answers; five sets of questions were randomized for their multiple choice items, and eight questions were condition- ally displayed based on responses to other items. Data were collected and analyzed in June 2016. Fragranced consumer products were investigated in the following categories: (a) Air fresheners and deodorizers; (b) Personal care prod- ucts; (c) Cleaning supplies; (d) Laundry products; (e) Household prod- ucts; (f) Fragrance; and (g) Other. Health effects were investigated in the following categories: (a) Migraine headaches; (b) Asthma attacks; (c) Neurological problems; (d) Respiratory problems; (e) Skin prob- lems; (f) Cognitive problems; (g) Mucosal symptoms; (h) Immune system problems; (i) Gastrointestinal problems; (j) Cardiovascular problems; (k) Musculoskeletal problems; (j) Other health problems. The categories of fragranced products and health effects were developed from prior studies (Steinemann, 2015; Caress and Steinemann, 2009; Miller and Prihoda, 1999), and pre-tested and piloted with over 100 individuals, including health care professionals, before full survey implementation.

3. Results

Overall, 98.5% of the Australian population is exposed to fragranced products at least once a week from either their own use (98%), others’ use (88.1%), or both. From their own use, 66.8% are exposed to air fresheners and deodorizers at least once a week; 91.6% personal care prod- ucts; 83.2% cleaning supplies; 84.3% laundry products; 77.1% household products; 69.6% fragrance; 2.3% other. From others’ use, 50.8% are exposed to air fresheners and deodorizers at least once a week; 61.5% personal care products; 50.7% cleaning supplies; 44.3% laundry products; 49.6% household products; 67.8% fragrance; 1.8% other. Importantly, 33% of the general population reported one or more types of health problems associated with exposure to one or more types of fragranced products. The most common types of adverse health effects were as follows: 16.7% of the population reported respiratory problems; 14.0% mucosal symptoms; 10.0% migraine headaches; 9.5% skin problems; 7.6% asthma attacks; 4.5% neurological problems; 4.1% cognitive problems; 3.3% gastrointestinal problems; 3.3% immune system problems; 3.0% cardiovascular problems; 2.6% musculoskeletal problems; and 1.9% other. When exposed to air fresheners or deodorizers, 16.4% experience health problems; these include respiratory problems (9.1%), mucosal symptoms (6.2%), skin problems (4.8%), asthma attacks (4.5%), mi- graine headaches (4.2%), neurological problems (2.2%), among other adverse effects. In addition, in other types of exposure situations, 15.3% reported health problems from being in a room after it was cleaned with scented products, 6.1% from the scent of laundry products from dryer vents, and 19.4% from being near someone wearing a fragranced product. For 17.1% of the population, the severity of the health problems was reported to “result in a total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions,” which is a criterion for determining disability under the Australia Disability Discrimination Act (DDA, 1992). Fragranced products also hindered access in society. Of the general population, 11.6% are unable or reluctant to use the toilets in a public place, because of the presence of an air freshener, deodorizer, or scented product. Also, 10.3% are unable or reluctant to wash their hands with soap in a public place, because they know or suspect that the soap is fragranced. Further, 15.0% have been prevented from going to some place because they would be exposed to a fragranced product that would make them sick. Interestingly, 16.7% of the population reported that if they enter a business, and smell air fresheners or some fragranced product, they want to leave as quickly as possible. Finally, 7.7% have lost work days or a job (in the past 12 months) due to exposures to fragranced products in the workplace.

Fragranced products emit a range of chemicals, including hazardous air pollutants, but ingredients do not need to be fully disclosed on the product label or material safety data sheet. Even so-called green and or ganic fragranced products can emit hazardous pollutants, similar to reg- ular products (Steinemann, 2015). Of the population surveyed, 47.2% were not aware that a “fragrance” in a product is typically a chemical mixture of several dozen to several hundred chemicals, 68.6% were not aware that fragrance chemicals do not need to be fully disclosed on the product label or material safety data sheet, 68.9% were not aware that fragranced products typically emit hazardous air pollutants such as formaldehyde, and 73.7% were not aware that even so-called natural, green, and organic fragranced products typically emit hazard- ous air pollutants. However, 56.3% would not still use a fragranced product if they knew it emitted hazardous air pollutants.

Fragrance-free indoor environments received widespread support. Of the general population, 42.8% would be supportive of a fragrance- free policy in the workplace (compared with 22.2% that would not), 43.2% would prefer that health care facilities and health care professionals be fragrance-free (compared with 25.2% that would not). Also, 57.7% would prefer flying on an airplane without scented air pumped through the passenger cabin (compared with 16.3% with scented air), and 55.6% would prefer staying in a hotel without fragranced air (com- pared with 22.7% with fragranced air).

4. Discussion

The problem of fragranced products is sweeping Australia and other countries, resulting in adverse health effects, lost workdays, and inability to access public places, such as restrooms and businesses. While the use of fragranced products may be premised on that they improve in- door air quality, the contrary is actually the case; that is, fragranced products emit and generate a complex mixture of chemical pollutants, including carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants, but nearly all are undis- closed. While further research is needed to better understand which chemicals and mixtures are associated with the effects, what is known is that the products are reportedly causing adverse effects in a sizeable (33%) percentage of the population. Further, the effects can be immedi- ate, severe, and potentially disabling. Important implications for prevention arise from this study. First, for workplaces and other environments, fragrance-free policies would be a logical step, benefiting employees, employers, and the public. Such policies have been implemented in workplaces, schools, hospitals, and public and private buildings around the world. As an example, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Indoor Environmental Quality Policy (CDC, 2009) states that “Scented or fragranced products are prohibited at all times in all interior space owned, rented, or leased by CDC.” Second, for individuals, fragranced products can be removed from use, or swapped out for fragrance-free products with similar functionality.

A fragrance in a product is not intended to clean the air or reduce air pollutants. Thus, it could be asked whether the perceived benefits of use are dwarfed by the costs to personal and public health.

Third, for businesses, fragranced products may actually repel more cus- tomers than attract, as well as create potential liability; e.g., the use of air fresheners in a business can cause potentially disabling effects in customers. Fourth, for medical professionals and patients, when faced with health problems such as headaches, respiratory difficulties, mucosal symptoms, rashes, asthma, and others, consider the possibility that fragranced products could be a contributor. Finally, for public officials, the problem of “secondhand scents,” or indirect exposure to fragranced products, has parallels to secondhand tobacco smoke. Prevention from fragrance product exposure will enable individuals to work in their workplaces, attend school, and function in society without suffering involuntary harm.

5. Conclusion

This study found that common fragranced products can trigger adverse effects throughout the Australian population, with consequences for public health, workplaces, businesses, and societal wellbeing. It also indicates that some relatively straightforward and inexpensive approaches, such as fragrance-free policies, could not only reduce health risks but also increase revenues and societal access. While research is needed to fully understand why fragranced products are associated with a range of adverse health effects, and in a substantial portion of the population, it is important to take steps in the meantime to reduce or eliminate exposure for prevention and public health.

Conflicts of interest

None.

Acknowledgments

I thank Amy Davis and Jim Repace for their very helpful reviews of this article. I also thank Amy Davis, Jim Repace, Alison Johnson, John Branco, Susan Felderman, Claudia Miller, Rudy Rodolfo, Lynn Heilbrun, Robert Damiano, Taylor Williams for their valuable reviews of the survey and results. The research received funding from Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, at the University of Melbourne, through the Australia Department of the Environment. Finally, I thank the staff of Survey Sampling International for their superb work.

References

Brown, S.K., 2007. Indoor Air Quality, Australia: State of the Environment Technical Paper Series (Atmosphere). Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra. Caress, S.M., Steinemann, A.C., 2009. Prevalence of fragrance sensitivity in the American population. J. Environ. Health 71 (7), 46–50. CDC, 2009. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indoor Environmental Quality Policy, pages. :pp. 9–10 Available:. http://www.drsteinemann.com/Resources/CDC% 20Indoor%20Environmental%20Quality%20Policy.pdf. Cheng, M., Galbally, I.E., Molloy, S.B., et al., 2015. Factors controlling volatile organic com- pounds in dwellings in Melbourne, Australia. Indoor Air 26 (2), 219–230. DDA, 1992. Australian Disability Discrimination Act, Australian Government. Act No. 135 of 1992. Availalble at:. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2004A04426. Elberling, J., Linneberg, A., Dirksen, A., et al., 2005. Mucosal symptoms elicited by fra- grance products in a population-based sample in relation to atopy and bronchial hyper-reactivity. Clin. Exp. Allergy 35 (1), 75–81. Johansen, J.D., 2003. Fragrance contact allergy: a clinical review. Am. J. Clin. Dermatol. 4 (11), 789–798. Kelman, L., 2004. Osmophobia and taste abnormality in migraineurs: a tertiary care study. Headache 44 (10), 1019–1023. Kumar, P., Caradonna-Graham, V.M., Gupta, S., Cai, X., Rao, P.N., Thompson, J., 1995. Inha- lation challenge effects of perfume scent strips in patients with asthma. Ann. Allergy Asthma Immunol. 75 (5), 429–433. Miller, C.S., Prihoda, T.J., 1999. The environmental exposure and sensitivity inventory (EESI): a standardized approach for measuring chemical intolerances for research and clinical applications. Toxicol. Ind. Health 15 (34), 370–385. Millqvist, E., Bengtsson, U., Löwhagen, O., 1999. Provocations with perfume in the eyes in- duce airway symptoms in patients with sensory hyperreactivity. Allergy 54 (5), 495–499. Nazaroff, W.W., Weschler, C.J., 2004. Cleaning products and air fresheners: exposure to primary and secondary air pollutants. Atmos. Environ. 38, 2841–2865. Ott, W., Steinemann, A., Wallace, L. (Eds.), 2007. Exposure Analysis. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. SSI (Survey Sampling International), 2016. Dynamix Sampling Approach.Available at:. https://www.surveysampling.com/technology/ssi-dynamix/ (accessed August 3, 2016). Steinemann, A., 2015. Volatile emissions from common consumer products. Air Qual. Atmos. Health 8 (3), 273–281. Steinemann, A.C., MacGregor, I.C., Gordon, S.M., et al., 2011. Fragranced consumer prod- ucts: chemicals emitted, ingredients unlisted. Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. 31 (3), 328–333.

E-mail address: anne.steinemann@unimelb.edu.au.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.11.011 2211-3355/© 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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.

Cars in Australia and the US: Is the New Car Smell Bad for your Health?

Of course we all remember the article, a little while back now, about how: Dr Geoffrey Evens Suffers with MCS-like Symptoms with New Cars? Evens, the Research Scientist who bought a new car that set of his formaldehyde allergy he picked up while working in a laboratory for years. Well, the gist of this story is long-winded, something that’s not going away fast, for many of us.

In ‘How toxic is your new car?‘ by Building Biologist and author of Healthy Home Healthy Family, Nicole Bijlsma, answers to some of our questions are put forward:

Ever wondered what that new car smell was doing to your health?

Well if you drive a Honda Civic or CR-Z or Toyota Prius you can breathe easy as they were rated the healthiest. If however you recently purchased a Mitsubishi Outlander or Chrysler (family cars) consider wearing a respirator and tyvek suit – they were the worst. A study conducted by consumer advocate HealthyStuff.org (US) investigated the pollution in cars. There are over 275 different chemicals in the interiors of new cars many of which are associated with birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity and cancer (HealthyStuff.org, 2012). Cars were assessed for a variety of toxins including PVC (hormone disrupting chemical), heavy metals such as lead (behavioural disorders) and cadmium (carcinogenic) and brominated flame retardants.

You can Read more here

In Is the New Car Smell Bad for your Health?, written by Jim Travers and published by BBC Autos, the article is ripe with helpful information for consumers:

“There are over 200 chemical compounds found in vehicles,” he said. “Since these chemicals are not regulated, consumers have no way of knowing the dangers they face.”

Since these chemicals are not regulated, consumers have no way of knowing the dangers they face. 

Just reading a list of the substances is scary enough, and makes your car’s interior sound like a hazmat hall of fame. Benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and heavy metals are all part of the mix. And the danger of exposure is scarier still. Immediate symptoms can range from a sore throat to headaches, dizziness, allergic reactions and nausea, depending on the sensitivity of an individual.

For people already sensitive to formaldehyde and other chemicals, choosing a car can be difficult, especially if the fragrance used in most 2nd hand cars puts many of them out of reach. However, there is great news from BBC Auto when it comes to buying new cars:

Automakers we spoke with, including Fiat/ChryslerFordGeneral Motors and Honda all say they’ve taken steps to reduce VOC levels in their vehicles, along with other substances of concern (SOCs). They say they’ve accomplished this primarily by using different materials, coatings and adhesives in manufacturing, and all say they are continuing to look for ways to reduce the use of potentially harmful substances in their cars.

One known carcinogen that seems to be on the way out is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which the Ecology Center found was used in virtually all new car interiors in 2006. By 2012, that number was down to 73%. Manufacturers say PVC use continues to decline, and Honda, for one, claims to have eliminated it entirely from interiors of most models.

Other companies like Ford are trying out alternatives like soy padding used in the seats. However, while Australia and the US lag behind the European Union’s REACH program (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and restriction of CHemical substances), designed to protect consumers from harmful chemical irritants, allergens and toxic chemicals, the BBC suggests:

” … the best thing that buyers can do to limit exposure is to keep car interiors well ventilated, especially during the first six months of ownership. Park in the shade with the windows open when it’s safe to do so, or at least try to air it out before getting inside — especially on hot days.

Avoid sitting in the car while it is parked, and use a windshield solar shade to minimize heat buildup. The Ecology Center also advises frequent passes with a microfiber towel and a non-toxic cleaner, especially when a vehicle is new. “Chemicals like to hang out in the dust,” said Gearhart.

And for those who are especially sensitive to chemicals, he suggests making an extended sit behind the wheel part of the test drive, to see if symptoms or irritation start to develop.

“Spend time in the vehicle before purchasing it,” said Gearhart. “Or even consider buying a used car.”

More

The New Ecology Center guide to toxic chemicals in cars helps consumers avoid a major source of indoor air pollution. Honda rated the best again due to reductions in PVCs.

Nicole Bijlsma: How Toxic is Your Car

Jim Travers, BBC Autos: Is the New Car Smell Bad for your Health?

This report contains vehicle screening as well as historic test results for nearly 1,000 vehicles: 2011/2012 Guide to New Vehicles

In the US: SaferCar.gov is the NHTSA site where you can identify and report problems you might be having with your vehicle, tires, equipment or car seats

The New Ecology Center guide to toxic chemicals in cars helps consumers avoid a major source of indoor air pollution

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.

Wanted: Husband for Chemically Sensitive Woman

 

Hi, today, I’m placing an ad out for a husband. Please read carefully before applying for this specialised position:

  • For visual entertainment must be able to wash dishes while wearing only boxer-short type undies. Footy shorts are a fine alternative to boy-leg knickers.
  • To avoid contaminating the indoor airspace must be willing to take clothes off outside, or at least in another room, and head straight for the shower (Yes, coincidently, this happens to be visually entertaining also, but that’s not the actual reason for this rule.)
  • Must be able to explain the ins’ and outs’ of this rule to visitors and be able to facilitate the actions needed to sustain it—actually, to protect visitors modesty and the neighbours eyes from seeing your uncle Ted naked, maybe we’ll just forgo visitors until my health recovers, hey?

Visitor Protocol

  • However, if we must have visitors then they must keep a set of clothes here that haven’t been washed in fabric softener, washing powder, or worn with fragrance. These clothes must be new and have been washed here at my house, in my machine and with our fragrance-free liquid (It’s the only one my immune system is okay with (for now until my tolerance comes back). Visitor showers at home with our bodywash, shampoo, conditioner and whatever else they need (shave cream/moisturiser), which we supply. You’re welcome. Visitor must drive here in a car that doesn’t have a Fragrance Emitting Device blowing out fragrance over them; or with a Scented Xmas Tree hanging from the rear vision mirror. Then when they arrive they discreetly shower (again) with our products, then put on their fresh clothes. Lunch or dinner will then be served!

    Other Notes

  • You must understand that even after a quick nick down to the supermarket, fragrances and cleaning chemical VOC residues will stick to clothing, therefore, you need to take a shower and change clothes (See take Clothes off Outside rule.). I don’t get to go shopping or into a supermarket. Rarely, I go to Costco (which is another blog post entirely!) but I wear a mask, change clothes afterwards in the car, then shower and wash hair when I get home: even with all this preparation, I can still end up laying in bed like something the dog vomited up for some days later.
  • The same rules apply to putting petrol in the car, visiting relatives, going to work—actually, going just about anywhere. I’d love to compromise on this rule for the sake of convenience and getting along with you, but, I’m sorry, my health is more important.
  • Understand that there are House clothes and Going Out clothes. It doesn’t matter how good your bum looks in those G-Star Raw jeans, you cannot wear them in the house. Now take them off. Outside. (But leave the shorty shorts on.)
  • Also understand that there are varying degrees of chemical exposure and the amount of VOC and chemical irritants (aka fragrance) that get on your clothes will impact on my quality of life (aka breathing); the solution to this: Going Out clothes can’t be washed with House clothes.
  • Going Out clothes need to be aired in between washes to avoid the build up of VOCs and harmful fragrance ingredients
  • Due to mould and dust sensitivity, House clothes can’t be folded and put away without being washed first; and furthermore, they must be aired on the rack in the bathroom between wearing them. May I suggest you choose a couple of sets of clothing and wear them on rotation, washing them at the end of the week, like I do?

    Woodsmoke rules:

  • When it’s smoky outside, in between uses, the bathroom door needs to stay taped up with painters masking tape (It doesn’t pull the paint off like ordinary masking tape does.). If it’s left unsealed, woodsmoke can enter the house and impact my health, possibly making me ill—for days.
  • If you feel like you can’t be bothered pulling off the masking tape and then reapplying it in the middle of the night, please understand that you can’t just go pee outside when it’s smoky because the smoke particles will adhere to your clothes and skin and impact on my sinuses, possibly giving me a headache—it doesn’t matter if you can’t smell it because it’s actually the chemicals not the smell that is the problem, here
  • Washing can’t be left outside at all during the cooler months because of the woodsmoke and mould spores that will get into our clothing, so it must be dried inside the bathroom with the AusClimate dehumidifier running and must happen during the day—before it gets smoky in the evening.

Mould Rules

  • Take out the trash before anything starts to oxidise, therefore causing my sinuses to react to that rotting apple core left in there last night, which I might just throw at you on account of recidivism (dying to use that word, which just means repeat offending)
  • When I tell you there is microbial activity or fragrance on something, therefore, it must go outside, you must take my word for it. Any debating on this issue will cause a domestic the scale of Hiroshima.
  • If we are in bed and about to go to sleep yet I’m having symptoms of fragrance exposure, you need to go shower again. This time use Bicarbonate of soda, please. (It’s on the top shelf next to the shower.)
  • Any fabric that’s been left wet and in a pile for more than 48 hours will go in the bin. Mildew doesn’t wash out for people who’re are mould sensitive and mould grows after 48 hours
  • Must fulfil this: Take care of my plants until I recover due to my breathing issues I have with damp soil
  • Do not turn off any of my 3 running InovaAir or Austin air purifiers. Or prepare to die a painful death.
  • Please run the AusClimate dehumidifier after each shower so my bathroom doesn’t go mouldy
  • No shoes in the house
  • Wash dog for me when I’m sick please
  • No cooking in the house until I recover
  • Use all fragrance free personal care products and don’t use fragrances that are marketed as ‘Aftershave’, ‘Perfume’ or ‘Non-Gender specific’. If you think you can use it on the days you don’t see me, what you need to realise is this: it adheres to all your clothes and does not wash out. It makes me sick for reasons only recently discovered, yet, I have had to live with this pain in my head, sinus, airways and eyes for 14 years and still do. A cure is in sight though but don’t, for a nanosecond, think you can abandon me and then when I’m all better come back all Lothario in nature with a bunch of roses and a bottle of perfume cause I won’t want you then. And out of respect for my friends who do have MCS/EHS, ME/CFS/SEID and other medical conditions where chemical sensitivity is a symptom, I won’t wear the so-called luxury product and may just throw it at you!

PS: I recently had a NeuroQuant MRI, which shows I have atrophy in parts of my brain. I believe this gives license to behaving like a two year old; and also explains a change in my behaviour over the last 4 years. Also, breathing in fragrance really hurts my head, incredibly so, therefore, tantrums are to be expected!

Oh, and only Real Men who are Vegan may apply!

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.

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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