Fragrance Free Workplace in Canberra?

Khandalah 24 September 2010 36

I know its a long shot and will probably just attract derision from some of you lot but worth a shot.. does anyone know of any fragrance free workplaces in canberra?

As in, workplaces where there is a policy of no fragrance. I get migranes from the chemicals in perfumes etc which makes it hard to work anywhere really.

Not keen on being on disability or unemployed and apparently there are a few fragrance free workplaces and they are slowly becoming slightly less rare than hens teeth.. haven’t heard of any in canberra though?

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36 Responses to Fragrance Free Workplace in Canberra?
busgirl busgirl 9:39 am 06 Oct 10

Yes, agree miz…fresh air in the office would solve alot of the workplace illnesses that employees keep catching from one another over and over again.

Khandalah Khandalah 7:51 am 06 Oct 10

Thanks for the replies. I’m surprised that so many others are effected. Yes miz the problem with green buildings is they don’t always seem to take account of the workers.. It’s great that energy is being saved but a lot of these buildings are ‘tight’ buildings to reduce heating bills and the air can be recirculated many times.

miz miz 8:18 am 28 Sep 10

I totally empathise as I have a related issue – I find the overwhelming smell of cleaning chemicals makes me feel ill. We are now working in an (allegedly) ‘green’ building which means that the cleaners now come in during the day, presumably to save on electrickery. It is really awful trying to work with the overpowering smell of bleach and that ‘back of the bus’ toilet chemical smell of commercial cleaning products.

Also, the building is very stuffy and airless (probably another ‘green’ saving – crap air con). I invariably have a headache by Monday evening, which I suspect is because of the weekend accumulation of formaldehyde from the horrid cheap MDF furniture (yes folks, they made everyone leave the beautiful, solid, old furniture behind so that the modern, cheap and nasty decor all matched! The irony is the building won an architectural award recently.) –

A lot of these problems would not arise if they would only design windows that (safely) open to let in fresh air.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 8:28 pm 27 Sep 10

I’m slightly sensitive to perfumes and have enormous sympathy for people who have a serious problem with it. I use unperfumed products, being unperfumed does NOT mean going without washing or deodorant or whatever. Interestingly I eventually realised that expensive perfumes don’t necessarily bother me, it’s the cheap supermarket sprays and the fragrances added to other products that are the problem. It would be interesting to compare the Material Safety Data Sheets for the chemicals in expensive perfumes and in cheap scented additives.

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 4:42 pm 25 Sep 10

Postalgeek said :

You’d think smelly people would’ve been bred out of the gene pool by now. No accounting for some tastes.

I think eugenics has had a bad rap ever since that whole Nazism thing. Boy was that embarrassing.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 1:10 pm 25 Sep 10

You’d think smelly people would’ve been bred out of the gene pool by now. No accounting for some tastes.

takahe takahe 9:05 am 25 Sep 10

I’m always flabbergasted (and suffocated) by the people that think it is a brilliant idea to spray perfume all over themselves 23.5 hours into a 24 hour flight. Because that will fix everything!

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 7:34 am 25 Sep 10

There are treatments..

But what about treatments? It is not uncommon in medicine to be diagnosed by your treatment. The doctor suspects you have a certain illness and gives you medicine for it. If the medicine works, he was probably right. Can we define MCS by a common successful treatment? No, because MCS is not considered a curable disease, and the treatments are as diverse as the symptoms and causes.

If you search the Internet, you can find the name of Pietr Hitzig, a Maryland physician who prescribes a combination of the drugs phentermine and fenfluramine for MCS. Nowhere on his World Wide Web page does he tell you that these are actually weight loss drugs in the amphetamine family. Perhaps Hitzig feels that if he can’t cure his patients, he can at least make them happy by helping them drop a few pounds.

One clinical ecologist, Sherry Rogers of Syracuse, New York, has prescribed a macrobiotic diet – based on grains and vegetables, free of wheat and dairy products – for MCS. Rogers says it works by detoxifying the body, especially critical in today’s toxin-ridden world. Another clinical ecologist, Joseph Weissman, who has a practice in Torrance, California, reportedly agrees with the macrobiotic diet but also recommends avoiding tap water, caffeine, and alcohol. He tells MCS sufferers to rid their homes of toxic chemicals such as cleaners and pesticides, improve the ventilation system, and avoid all drugs, whether prescription or over the counter.

A favorite MCS treatment is saunas, which supposedly “sweat out toxins.” One correspondent in an Internet news group said the government ought to provide all MCS sufferers with a sauna. They would probably like that (who wouldn’t?), but you can’t sweat out a toxin, because the sweat glands aren’t connected to any of the organs that process toxins. And no, saunas don’t help you lose fat either.

Other treatments include coffee enemas, something called “salt-neutralization therapy,” gamma globulin, interferon, vitamins, ginseng, and the patient’s urine (as a beverage or injection). A Sacramento-area specialist treats many of his patients with injections of “the north wind.” He bubbles air through water, then injects the water as a “neutralizer.” Why “the north wind”? Because many of his patients complain they feel worse when the wind blows from that direction.

A common treatment for MCS is simple avoidance. This can be mild, as in avoiding, say, formaldehyde or solvents. But sometimes it means making yourself a prisoner in your own home, living in a small porcelain house (porcelain being one of the few materials said to be safe for MCS sufferers), or, in extreme cases, moving away from civilization. One favorite refuge is the small scorpion- and fire ant-infested town of Wimberly, Texas, an hour’s drive from San Antonio. MCS patients are often referred there by Gerald Ross and William Rea, physicians at the Environmental Health Center in Dallas.

In Wimberly can be found a woman who hangs her mail on a clothesline for weeks before reading it, to allow the toxins in the ink to dissipate. Another woman tried living in a six-by-nine-foot porcelain hut but now just spends almost all her time on her porch, no matter how cold it gets. Yet another wears a protective mask while shopping but still develops breathlessness, palpitations, and vomiting when she smells gasoline fumes.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 1:40 am 25 Sep 10

WestonGuy said :

Nicely sad Boo. I can’t agree with you more. Perfumes can be a real assault on the senses. I find the worst offenders are usually smokers who’ve dulled their sense of smell.

+1. The same people that think a breath mint covers their stink.

affordable affordable 6:38 pm 24 Sep 10


SolarPowered SolarPowered 4:57 pm 24 Sep 10

Thoroughly Smashed said :

…But I have to ask, is it really migraines, or just bad headaches? There’s a pretty big difference.

I know what you mean – it’s like people complaining of the ‘flu when they have a bad cold.

But I have had migraines from a perfume assault in an elevator. Another time it was sampling a Lancome facial cream which had a really strong smell. Within 10 minutes I was in the grip of a migraine and throwing up.

I don’t think people would really mind that much if it was just a headache. Migraines are the pits.

Muttsybignuts Muttsybignuts 4:12 pm 24 Sep 10

As stated above, Carers ACT is fragrance free. However, it might help if they have any jobs going ( which they might – who knows) and if you are appropriately skilled.

OzChick OzChick 3:50 pm 24 Sep 10

Amanda Hugankis said :

KB1971 said :

I would like a bullshit free work environment……….

Top call! I’m also looking for a workplace where people will treat one another with some respect (is it too much to ask for someone to respond when you greet them? Yeah, BatShit Betty … I’m talking about YOU!).

^ This behaviour is rampant at my work. These days I don’t even bother to say hi to them, why bother? It’s a waste of time and energy to get annoyed with these sort of people.

Genie Genie 3:41 pm 24 Sep 10

I’m sorry I find this request weird. (as I’ve already stated)

I dont think asking would be generous. A lady I used to have to sit next to for 8 hours every day smoked heavily, and would come back once an hour stinking like cigarettes, it was so bad I would go home with a headache daily. I asked her to either cut back on the smoking, or spray a quick mist of perfume and she told me she was too lazy.

I had an airfresher on my desk to help, but found it would get thrown in the bin every couple of days and I’d have to fish it out.

KB1971 KB1971 3:07 pm 24 Sep 10

Me no fry said :

KB1971 said :

I would like a bullshit free work environment……….

So, you won’t be working in the public service, then?

Yah, I have a life decision to make 🙂

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 3:01 pm 24 Sep 10

*eats sardine, onion and peanut butter sandwich, tops up Old Spice*

Me no fry Me no fry 2:38 pm 24 Sep 10

KB1971 said :

I would like a bullshit free work environment……….

So, you won’t be working in the public service, then?

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 1:47 pm 24 Sep 10

Uggos who compensate by bathing in perfume truly are a workplace hazard.

But I have to ask, is it really migraines, or just bad headaches? There’s a pretty big difference.

grunge_hippy grunge_hippy 1:37 pm 24 Sep 10

haven’t there been studies that suggest that chemical sensitivities are a load of bullshit?

JessicaNumber JessicaNumber 1:15 pm 24 Sep 10

I also think you should be able to just ask nicely and have this policy put in place.

I have a friend with this allergy (or whatever it is) and she’s also been a roommate. She just seems to have trouble breathing when there are particulates or strong odours in the air so she also goes off when there’s cigarettes and dust.

I love incense and aromatic oil but care about her health more so it never bothered me to stop using fragrances (or hairspray or lavender scented cleaning products) when she was around. Your colleagues at any job should extend you the same courtesy.

There are fragrance free deodorants and moisturisers and very natural cleaning products. Adapting to meet the needs of others is just part of being human.

Nevertheless you may have to be persistent with your colleagues just as my friend had to be patient with me. I sometimes made the mistake of spraying hairspray too close to the house (she allowed me to spray it outside) or putting on perfume before leaving and thinking it really wasn’t that big of a deal. She had to keep setting the expectations so that I would know what was acceptable or unacceptable.

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