Resources for the Chemically Injured - Top
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This is an article from the latest State of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce
Development Bulletin, Week of May 3-7, 1999 #146:
Toxic air alert
What's in the air we breathe at the office?
The following toxic chemicals are found in fragrances: toluene, ethanol,
acetone, formaldehyde, limonene, benzene derivatives, methylene chloride and
many others known to cause cancer, birth defects, infertility, and nervous
These chemicals evaporate into the air we breathe in our offices. Therefore
it is NOT a personal matter when a person wears a fragrance to work.
These chemical fragrances are found in laundry and cleaning supplies, soaps,
hair products, lotions, etc. Chemicals also enter the air through carpeting,
100% of the fragrance samples examined by the US Environmental Protection
Agency in 1991 contained Toluene which has been proven to cause cancer and is
classified as hazardous waste!! (EPA's Code 40.) Nearly one-third of the
chemicals used in perfumes and other scented products are known to be toxic.
Fragrance is becoming a workplace issue because there has been a dramatic
increase in the number of people who are made sick by these toxic chemicals.
Over exposure or prolonged exposure to these chemicals is creating a growing
group of workers who are chemically sensitive.
Here are the symptoms that may be experienced by workers who are chemically
sensitive: exhaustion, vomiting and stomach pain, body aches, dizziness, hay
fever, headaches, rashes, swollen lymph glands, asthma attacks, neuromotor
dysfunction, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
Please know that the issue is not that these individuals find your fragrance
unappealing. They are becoming ill from the chemicals that are evaporating
In Ohio, the Industrial Commission awarded a woman $400,000 from her
employer because she developed serious asthma and respiratory problems from
new-carpeting fumes in her office (New York Times, 2/22/98).
The next time a co-worker tells you they are becoming ill because of
fragrances, take them seriously. You may find yourself with chemical
sensitivity at any time.
This page has been accessed times since 06/03/1999.