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chemical sensitivities | LightenUp

Figuring out the Fragrance Free Workplace

September means, for many, goodbye to sunny summer days and vacation, and back to the routines governed by work and school. As a parent I’m concerned about what kind of environment my kids spend the day in. That means things like safety, kindness and air quality are all things I appreciate about our school.  We are fortunate that our kids go to a school with a fragrance-free policy which protects the quality of the air they breathe. This means that students, employees and visitors are asked not to use fragranced products while on school property and no fragranced products are used in the maintenance of the school.

Read this to learn what “fragrance” is, exactly. You’ll be glad you did.

You may have noticed, or will now notice, signs in places of business, notifying personnel that the location is a Fragrance-Free Zone.  And although sales of fragranced products seems to be at an all-time high, these signs, increasing in frequency, are an indication of things to come.

For the Love of Lilac

Some people think that I’m super sensitive to fragrance.  And it’s easy to understand why. I can sniff out anyone’s laundry detergent floating on the breeze or scented hand soap on my daughter after school.

The word sensitive in our society denotes that something is wrong. Being sensitive to anything is usually considered a fault or weakness.

But when it comes to fragrance, the fragrance of a flower or a chemically made fragrance, being sensitive is a very good thing.

Lilacs have been in bloom here recently.  My neighbor and I swoon over the scent of them wafting between our houses. Lilacs remind us of special times in our childhoods. When cut and placed in the kitchen, their scent in the morning lifts my spirit. And catching the sweet scent of lilac during story time in the hammock makes the moment even more magical.  I’m delighted that I can smell even the faintest hint of lilac.

Benefits of the Olfactory Sense

Our olfactory sense, or sense of smell, is for enjoyment, health and protection (among other benefits).  I enjoy the scent of real lilac, the salty ocean and chocolate.  When I smell dinner cooking it begins the process of digestion. And when a scent is added to natural gas, it can warn us of a dangerous natural gas leak because we associate that added scent with a gas leak.

Continue reading “Fragrance Sensitivity is a Good Thing. Really.”

Photo by luigi manga on Unsplash

Some think that persons who claim they have adverse reactions to chemical products and fragrances have worked themselves into this tizzy, so to speak. Which one are you, the sufferer or the skeptic?

It takes a lot of compassion to understand that some people can react with migraines, asthma and a host of other symptoms to the tiniest waft of scent in the room, while others seem to be immune, much less notice it. I get that. This is weird stuff. But as one who has suffered from chemicals that I encounter in stores, salons, assisted living facilities, churches, schools and in the homes of friends and family, I also understand what’s its like to experience reactions in my body that don’t seem to make sense. Continue reading “Chemical Sensitivity Real & on the Rise”