Accomodating chemical sensitivities in schools
“Do not rely on green labeling because a lot of green products have fragrances in them.” Steinemann says travelers with MCS often go to great lengths to protect themselves while traveling—bringing their own soaps and shampoos, sheets, towels, and even covers to put on their beds or the carpet.“People go through so much to stay a night at a hotel,” she says, “and they still get sick from the room.” Hoteliers can accommodate travelers with MCS by agreeing to locate them away from parking lots, pools or other areas where air quality may be a concern.NATIONAL REPORT—Prior to one of her recent trips, Judy Smith* called the motel where she was going to be staying and requested that no chemicals, air fresheners or room deodorizers be used in her room.Unfortunately, housekeeping only got the message about not using cleaning chemicals and not the part about not using air fresheners or room deodorizers.One person may have a reaction to scented laundry products, another may react to off-gassing.“Some people are even sensitive to [some forms of] peppermint,” a representative of a state-based association for the chemically injured told Green Lodging News.Green cleaning products are not necessarily safe for those with MCS.
When we talk about scents, we usually mean the smells or odours from ingredients and chemicals in cosmetics (perfume, make-up, shampoo, deodorant, etc.) or from other products such as air fresheners, cleaners, etc.Like millions of other travelers, Smith suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). population but more than 30 percent of the population is fragrance-sensitive,” says Dr.MCS involves an unusually severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to many different kinds of pollutants including solvents, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), perfumes, pesticides, petrol, diesel, smoke, petrochemicals in general and often encompasses problems with regard to mold, pollen, dust mites, and pet fur and dander. Anne Steinemann at the University of California, San Diego, and starting this fall, Professor of Civil Engineering, and Chair of Sustainable Cities, at The University of Melbourne, Australia.Steinemann recommends going fragrance free in both laundry and cleaning products, and personal care products such as soaps, lotions, and shampoos.“Fragrance chemicals are persistent and adhere to fabric and surfaces,” she says.