For a long time I have had different types of allergies that used to be aggravated by mould, perfumes, toxic cleaning products and dust. As a child, I had asthma so allergies were something I just lived with.
By the end of the year 2014, I was having an allergic reaction every time I went to work (an office with around 20 people). I started to notice that one of my colleagues liked to spray herself every time she came back in the office after smoking and the fumes were just making me have a horrible headache as well as itchy and watery eyes. I complained to my supervisor and sent general emails educating people on the effects of fragrances, but all my effort didn’t change anything. I guess they just didn’t want to tell people NOT to wear perfume at work. I do understand that, but I could not be sick in the stomach every time I went to work. I decided to take some time off (3 months) and see if I got better. It did. I found out that I have “Chemical Sensitivity”, which means that different smells affect me more than to the average person.
“People can become sensitive to chemicals after a major chemical exposure or after long-term, low-level exposure to chemicals, eg pesticides. Chemical sensitivity can also occur after a virus or other illness, or with hormonal disturbances, eg during or after pregnancy. Some people are genetically susceptible. People with allergic illnesses such as hayfever or asthma appear to be more likely to be sensitive to chemicals.” I am not sure how or when I became sensitive, but I know I have to do something to get over it as it is debilitating. I know which fragrances affect me the most: sweet smells for some reason. The other interesting fact is I feel like a dog as I can smell things from a very long distance. It is quite bizarre as I will be at the supermarket and be able to smell someone’s BO or perfume from a very far distance. It is also funny at the same time as with my line of business, I can detect which deodorant you are using and can tell if it is working or not. I can smell sweat on my kids, even though other people would never be able to.
I have found out that I have an impaired phase II liver detoxification (I did numerous saliva and blood tests to find this out). I also have adrenal fatigue and hormonal problems.
Last week, I was at the post office and all of a sudden I had to grab this mask from my bag as someone entered the office. It was instant headache and the guy serving me asked why I was wearing this mask and if it was to protect myself or him. That is when I said it was because someone had just entered the post office with a very strong perfume smell. He noticed it as well, but for him it is just a strong smell not the headache, itchy eyes kind of affair.
So all this just adds to the notion about how bad those fragrances in our everyday living are. Can you believe I can smell fragrance in our toilet paper? You probably didn’t even know they put fragrance in it, did you? I still don’t know why, but they do.
So what is WRONG with smelling good, you may ask?
Lucinda Curan puts it all very well: “let’s look at some of the chemicals on the list from the International Fragrance Association… and I will list the potential effects as per “The Chemical Maze” (Bill Statham’s book).
Triethanolamine (TEA) made from ethylene oxide and ammonia
Potential effects: allergic contact dermatitis; skin irritation; may react with nitrates to form nitrosamines [carcinogenic]; on NIH hazard list
Yikes! It is included in personal care products, perfumes too, that are applied to the SKIN even though it is a skin IRRITANT!
Potential effects: Cinnamates can cause a stinging sensation in some people; on NIH hazard list
Acetal (derived from acetaldehyde)
Potential effects: CNS [central nervous system] depressant; respiratory depression; cardiovascular collapse; no known skin toxicity; possible high blood pressure; on NIH hazard list
What is ultra-scary, is that these chemicals, because they are “misted” are easily inhalable… This means that they bypass the skin and can directly enter the blood stream, and also affect the brain (hence the CNS involvement).
So what can we do? STOP using these toxic laden products around your home. We are making our family sick!
Use natural scents like we used to in the old days. Do you really need to mask the smell of your home? What about using some natural essential oils in a nice diffuser? Not only it will help with your mood, immune system, cleanse, etc. It has has a fantastic natural smell. You don’t want to end up wearing masks to go out like me, do you?
I am also changing my diet, I only used natural products around my house and I haven’t worn perfumes for over 10 years. If you can’t part with having a nice smell, don’t worry, I am always writing about different alternatives and I might even show you how you can create your own perfume.
Have you been affected by the fake smells around you? I would love to hear your story.
For more information, check this: http://ecohealthsolutions.com.au/blog/scents-make-no-sense/