Toronto School District Scent Awareness Program

(Image source:

(Image source:

From the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in Canada:

“Scented products have an impact on everyone. For most people, perfumed, scented or fragrant products are enjoyed, but for those who have asthma, allergies or environmental sensitivities, exposure can result in illness, absence from work and even hospitalisation.

We want the Toronto District School Board to be a clean and safe environment for all of out staff, students and visitors. To help achieve that, the TDSB has launched a Scented Products Awareness Program encouraging the TDSB community to reduce the use of fragrances and scented products.

Using fragrances is a personal choice, however, by their very nature, they are shared. The chemicals vaporize into the air and are easily inhaled by those around us. Today’s scented products are made up of a complex mixture of chemicals which can contribute to indoor air quality problems and cause health problems.

This awareness program will do just that – increase the awareness within our community about the impact of fragrance on health, wellbeing and productivity of those impacted by scents.

What can you do to help?

  • Be considerate of those who are sensitive to fragrance chemicals

  • Avoid using scented products and use scent-free alternatives, instead

  • If you do use scented products, use them sparingly. A general guideline for scented products is that the scent should not be detectable more than an arm’s length away from you

  • Do not apply scented products in a public area

  • Avoid using laundry products or cleaning agents that are scented”

You can find more information here, and by clicking on the following links, you can read all about how the TDSB is raising awareness about scented products and what you can do to help!


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.

A Short Story About Dirty Fucking Balls

In Melbourne’s, the Age, newspaper, today, the article: Sexism Dovetails with Hypocrisy, by Nina Funnell and Dannielle Miller, attempts to shed light on more than just Unilever’s moronic sexist advertising:

“Remember that Dove campaign featuring women of all different shapes, colours and sizes standing around in their knickers supposedly taking on beauty stereotypes? Well, Dove is owned by Unilever. Yep. The same company that is funding self-esteem workshops and body-love courses for girls in our schools (under the Dove brand) is also producing the very types of ads that those courses caution against.”

The claim on their website: Dove, is raising awareness of the link between beauty and body-related self-esteem (Must they have the comma after ‘Dove’? Because it was there when I cut and pasted it from their website. And if I can’t win an argument with a multi-national corporation like Unilever, then I’ll pick on their punctuation instead!) and that statement sits in rank contrast with their latest offering. Because now, Unilever (also the parent company of Lynx deodorants), have the Dirty Balls advertisement, which, based on the long-held advertising premise that you can sell anything to a man if you can link it to sex or sport, is promoting Lynx, which itself, promises that one squirt of it will bring amazing success in both areas. So, not only is Unilever going about their advertising in their own special oxymoronic fashion but their values are also strangely unaligned in their approach to marketing other products. Like this:

“And the hypocrisy doesn’t end there. Dove reminds girls to accept their bodies and to love the skin they’re born in. But Unilever sells a skin-bleaching product in places such as India and the Middle East called ”Fair and Lovely”. This product is aimed at darker-skinned women, with the promise that it will whiten their skin so that they too might one day resemble the Aryan ideal so celebrated in all Lynx advertisements.”

Look, if people want to change the colour of their skin, fine (Hello… Michael Jackson?) but why is a multimillion dollar capitalist company allowed to promote such aspirations? Like the colour of the skin a person is born with is not good enough? We have to manipulate and taunt them with advertising to aspire to change such a perfect detail with Fair and Lovely?

You can read more of that here.

It is more than a tad oxymoronic because now they have the Lynx Clean your balls advertising campaign with Sophie Monk, it shows just how dishonest they are. There is a new slogan going around: Talk to your daughter before a disingenuous company such as Unilever does and it hits the nail on their own knob head because it’s true!

”Balls. Nobody wants to play with them when they’re dirty,” says Ms Monk.

Well some women might say, “No one wants to play with them when they smell of *fragrance chemicals!” And furthermore, some mums might say, “Son, your not washing your, err… b… body in neurotoxic solvents, toxic metals and potential carcinogens… ”


On the subject of *fragrance chemicals, Unilever also manufacture washing powders that contain ‘suspect ingredients’, which cause, contribute to, and bring on symptoms experienced by asthmatics, and people with fragrance, solvent and/or petrochemical allergies and sensitivities, including children. And that is another contradiction they play against consumers, the low-allergy-sensitivity/asthmatic-friendly ruse. Their Omo Sensitive range states:

“Omo Sensitive is dermatologically tested and free of potential irritants like dyes and perfumes, which can trigger sensitive, allergy prone skin.”

Yet, all the other washing powders they market contain these ‘irritants’ and for the person allergic/sensitive to them, they are found everywhere where people who wash their clothes are found. And, they neglect to mention (and this is on purpose, I’m sure) that those affected with asthma and inhalant allergies, suffer health affects when breathing around these products. And they make out like it’s only *skin* on the outside of the body that suffers irritation and inflammation on contact with these products, not the lining (skin) of the airways of these immune compromised individuals. But it’s no biggie, if people do develop a rash, or skin irritation (you know the-red-itchy-scaly-rash-that-people-will-try-twenty-products-just-trying-to-clear-it-and-only-make-it-worse-leaving-their-skin-scared-for-life type of rash/skin irritation) then Unilever offers this helpful Living with sensitivities doesn’t have to be stressful if you know how to control it fact sheet.

If people knew they could end up sensitised to the chemicals in these products, or cause/worsen their children’s asthma, or make make an immune disorder worse then they could just bypass all the *chemicals, dyes and perfumes and go straight on to using the OMO sensitive in the first instance. That way they wouldn’t have to throw out all their clothing after they find that the regular Omo won’t wash out and the chemicals left behind–even trace amounts–still cause symptoms. Even better by using the sensitive version they could avoid symptoms in the first place!

So, Unilever can make products that make people ill, and get away with it, and they can make adds with sexist language that our kids would get in trouble for using at school. What’s next?

The feminist author and campaigner for lobby group Collective Shout Melinda Tankard Reist said the advertisement ”hit the jackpot: it’s sexist, racist and ageist”.

Reist also said she was aware it was designed to provoke outrage. As pointed out on Melbourne’s 3AW radio:

‘“One of their worst ads came out last year where they advised men to use a Lynx product to ‘wash away the skank’ after a regretted sexual encounter,” Melinda Tankard Reist told 3AW Mornings.

Read entire article and listen to the interview.

And just so we are fully aware of what we are dealing with here:

“Just so you know, the regretted sexual encounter promoted by the American version of Lynx Axe, was described as one that might involve a disabled or elderly woman. And click here to look at this pro up skirting product brought out by Axe a few years ago.”

So aside from Unilever’s dirty tactics, women’s dirty attitudes and Linx’s dirty balls, what about the children? Do they (or us) need anymore pornification in everyday life?

Here’s a slogan: Talk to your sons before Unilever does because they could end up suffering from a different Lynx effect than what they actually intended if they use Lynx products:

Twelve year old Daniel Hurley died after spraying Lynx in an enclosed space. Daniel’s father, Robert, said the youngster was proud of his appearance and was “lavish” in his use of deodorants and hair gels. Note: Lynx/Unilever do not display the ingredients on their products. But they do say that Lynx contains *fragrance as stated on their website.

But aside from tragedy and sexism, what is it lately with all the dirty genitalia that apparently needs these ‘products’ to make them clean? Dirty Balls, Lynx. Smelly Vaginas, Vagasil. What’s with this? Is there something wrong with a bar of soap and a shower? And are these companies creating body issues or do we already have them, therefore creating the need for these products? The questions are rhetorical, designed to make you think, peoples…

In this YouTube clip, Collective Shout’s Lynx Ad, shows the real Lynx affect (not the bullcrap advertising one, or the Lynx affect that impedes breathing, hampers asthma and makes my eyes swell up).

* Fragrance chemicals: The perfume/and fragrance industry is self-regulated; therefore, the only ingredient a consumer can identify in a bottle of perfume/fragrance is, yep, you guessed it, fragrance… The chemical components in fragrance are protected under the Trade Secrets Act and they are described on the label only as ‘fragrance’. And, the term ‘fragrance’ is a generic word used to describe the mix of any of up to 5000 chemicals within these recipes. Because they do not disclose to the consumer the products ingredients, it is difficult to identify which chemical component(s) of the fragrance is causing symptoms.

And finally, here’s how to Take Action!

(Information from Collective Shout‘s webpage)

Tell Lynx what you think about their ad campaigns

Unilever (parent company) Website


Further reading:

ASB upholds complaints against Lynx ‘Rules of Rugby’ ad

Why you need to complain to the Advertising Standards Board

Behind the Label: Lynx Dry Antiperspirant Deodorant

The stink about deodorant

Thanks for reading


(I’m off to take a shower now.)

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.

Take off your bra!

Okay, I’m having a terrible day, all because I drove my daughter to school this morning. (We usually leave at 8.00 am to avoid the traffic but today we were running late and left at 8.20 am, and had to crawl our way through the backstreets, and noxious traffic fumes that stung my eyes and nostrils like the fumes from caustic soda.) And now I’m sitting, writing this, with a nasty headache, my sinuses are pounding out pain from behind my face, and I’m trying not to think about the stupidity of not taking my mask with me.

That reminds me, I  need to add ‘ALWAYS CARRY A SPARE MASK IN THE CAR’ to my tips on ‘How to improve your life when sensitive to chemicals’ on my Maskology page. Then maybe I’ll remember.


Perhaps I wouldn’t have to if I could just whip off my bra (yes, in early morning traffic) and put it over my face.

This bra doubles as a face mask (for two)

Today I’m going to entertain myself (and hopefully, you) by writing a review on a bra. And a mask. It’s a bra that can be used as a mask. Yes, really. Why review this? Because it’s funny, funny in a laughing-hilariously-nearly-peeing-in-my-pants-funny type of way. Every time I read about it!

Because the whole idea of a chemically sensitive person (you know, the wear-a-mask-everywhere-they-go-type of chemically sensitive person) using a bra as a mask just cracks me up.

If you have chemical sensitivities and you have to wear a mask going out, I do hope you enjoy this blog entry. At least a little bit. And if you are a teenager, well you’re going to laugh anyway, but perhaps you’ll stop pointing and laughing at us chemically sensitive people when you spot us in shopping centres wearing masks, just for long enough to consider that IT IS RUDE to ridicule others. Oh, that’s right, (some of) the YouTube generation like to do that. Well, YouTube this (see YouTube below)! It’s just a friggen mask for charlie’s sake; it’s not like I’m out shopping while wearing a bra over my face. Now that would be funny… And weird…

Now, if you are a feminist (grass roots) you’ll like this too—well, the title anyway. By the way, have you ever considered that over 70% of people with chemical sensitivities are women aged between 30 and 50? Ever considered why? Or the fact that the majority of chemical based (fragrance) products are marketed towards the female side of the population? Well, this post is not about that. But do stay tuned by subscribing to this blog!

I don’t mean to make light of the catastrophe of 9/11 or the fall of Baghdad (or any other past, present, or future event with people getting caught in dilapidating buildings) but this mask would only be handy for attempting to survive this type of calamity. Or perhaps, if you’re at work and a newsflash on your Iphone notifies you of a sudden outbreak of SARS, or H1-N1 (swine flu) well then, you’ll have it covered in a nut shell bra-cup.

Okay, now watch Dr. Elena Bodnar, inventor of the Emergency Bra, take of her bra while demonstrating how to deploy it onto a suitably docile theoretical physicist (Think Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory!) at the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Oxford University during the IgNobel UK Tour 2010.


Note to non-chemically sensitive people: If you use Linx/Rexonna (or other petro-chemical/solvent laden sprucer upper-er) do not, I repeat, do not take of your bra in an emergency and offer one of your cups to a chemically sensitive person—it’s a really nice offer though! (Depending on their level of sensitivities) they may never make it out of the disaster area and your effort to help them will only suffice in hindering their escape (and even your own). You will be better off  either (1.) putting both masks on your own face, wrapping a towel around their head and carrying them out of the building; (2.) tell them to find their own way out because you sprayed on so many chemicals in the morning that you (obviously) don’t give a hooter’s boob about anyone else’s wellbeing; or (3.) go fragrance free for the good of your fellow man/woman, and yourself by using fragrance free products that don’t come out of an aerosol can and don’t contain artificial fragrance, and then, by all means, whip of your bra for the good of all human-kind…

Do you use a mask? Would you use this in an emergency? If you don’t use a mask, would you consider wearing a bra/mask just in case? If you were in this situation which would you choose option: 1, 2, or 3?


(If you came to this page looking for bras suitable for people with chemical sensitivities—my site statistics show this has been happening—then you could try Blessed Earth (AUS), GAIAM (AUS), The Allergy shop (AUS), Rawganique (US), Cottonfield (US), Blue Canoe (US).)

(If you came to this page looking for actual masks to protect yourself from other people’s personal care products, chemicals, or other allergens, AESSRA (AUS) sell 3M masks, I Can Breathe (US) (AUS) sell masks suitable for light (depending on the individual’s sensitivities) exposures.)

(If you’re interested to see what fragrance free personal care products look like in Australia then click here. For laundry care, here.)

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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