Breaking News: Professor Anne Steineman’s Latest Study on the Impact of Fragrances in Australia

Breaking News

Professor Anne Steinemann from Melbourne University has published her Australian study: ‘Health and societal effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products’ on fragrance-irritant chemicals and the impact they have on people who need access to workplace, health care facilities and professionals, hotels, airplanes and schools. Her study shows why it’s so difficult for people with illnesses having chemical sensitivity as a symptom or for people with full blown MCS to be able to access public spaces (even with a recognised disability that’s further hindered by the inhalation of fragrances, cleaners (even green ones!) and other fragrance containing products); and why family and friends don’t understand or even begin to comprehend that it’s the chemical irritants here that are the problem, rather than the actual smell:

73.7% of the Australian population are not even aware that these products can and do harm others health, restricting their lives to the point, in some cases, of not being able to go out into public buildings at all.

Please download this study and show it to your employer, workplace safety representative, your course co-ordinator or Disability Officer, or that pesky family member who insists you (or other family member with MCS or CIRS, ME/CFS/SEID) have a ‘mental illness’ or childhood trauma related to an ‘aftershave’ etc.

CIRS, ME/CFS/SEID, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme, Toxic Encephalopathy, Asthma, Red Cedar Asthma (Plicatic Acid Sensitivity), IgE-mediated Triethanolamine Sensitivity, Pine Allergy (Abietic Acid Sensitivity), Formaldehyde-induced Anaphylaxis, Phthalic Anhydride Hypersensitivity, Ammonium Persulfate Sensitivity, Glutaraldehyde-induced Asthma, Phenyl Isocyanate Sensitivity, Halothane-induced Hepatitis, Sulfite-induced Anaphylaxis, Chemical Worker’s Lung, Farmer’s Lung, TDI-induced Asthma, NSAID Intolerance, sufferers of inhalant allergies, particular chemical sensitivities, and respiratory inflammation, Occupational Asthma, Irritant-associated Vocal Cord Dysfunction, Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS), Irritant-induced Asthma, Small Airways Disease, Vasomotor Rhinitis, Occupational Urticaria, Occupational Rhinosinusitis, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Photoallergic Contact Dermatitis, Airborne-irritant Contact Dermatitis, Irritant-associated Vocal Cord Dysfunction, Sick Building Syndrome (Building-related Illness) and the big one Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS): are all valid diagnostic conditions that have chemical sensitivity to chemical irritants as a symptom. And they are medical conditions that can be impacted by indoor air-quality, which is paramount to comfort, good health and quality of life for everyone.

Too many people are discriminated against in Australia by not having access to the most basic of care, employment and education. Thankfully we have dedicated organisations such as AESSRA and Emerge where we can get hard facts and concrete information on the law and Disability Discrimination and what actions we can take. Don’t take discrimination lying down. Personally, I don’t. I have, and will, go to the DDLS (Disability Discrimination Legal Service) every single time (always as a last resort!)  because I deserve medical care, an education and part time employment. In Australia, in case you’re not aware, we have the Access to Goods and Services Guidelines, which have been of great assistance to those who use them.

I’m diligently waiting for our Australian Government and mainstream media channels to step up and help educate others over this matter. Thank you to Professor Anne Steinemann for working on this important research sure to help many Australians. Thank you from our full hearts to yours. <3 And thank you to the lovely gentleman who bought this study to my attention this morning. I love my readers. We’re all in this together; and I, personally, are with you all the way. I support you and wish you all the best. Enjoy!


“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 on-line surveywith 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 associatedwith 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.”

© 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

Download (PDF, 220KB)

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. Thank you for always keeping us up to date on such important topics and, in this case, regarding workplace health

  2. Fantastic article you have reviewed and passed on to us Thank you Michellina I have passed it on to my son who is at present AGAIN bringing this info and these facts to NICNAS attention

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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