Re: multiple chemical sensitivity, fragrances
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 13:11:45 -0700 (PDT)
I am asthmatically allergic to fragrances. In deference to me and other 
users  of our common house (members and public), we do not allow incense 
or scented candles, smudge, or other intentionally fragrant objects in 
the CH. I have personally replaced the Dial-type soap in the bathrooms 
(for one thing "antibacterial" soaps are bad for the environment in so 
many ways it's a wonder the FDA hasn't pulled them yet; my recent food 
handlers' training started with a talk on the evils of antibac soap). I 
did so because the smell gags me, but also because there are people 
(including one in the neighboring Eco Village, which sometimes meets at 
our CH) who could be laid up in bed by walking in on such fragrances. The 
EcoVillage has an official policy that the common spaces there will not 
use fragrant products, and be fragrance free. 

My neighbors have seen me go into a wheezing fit enough times that they 
get that they just CAN'T in good conscience wear fragrances. 

At the very least, it would be great if coho common spaces could all be 
fragrance free, in terms of incense, potpourri, smelly cleaning products, 
gardenias and stargazer lilies too. 

I believe that we "canaries in the mine" are a clue that such stuff isn't 
really good for anybody. As we breathe more and more pollution, over the 
years, people's allergy threshholds will lower. And it's cumulative. 

The bad news is that lots of good people still don't get it. I keep 
running into people who adamantly claim I couldn't be not-breathing 
because of their all-natural organic, fair-trade, essential oils of 
sandalwood, patchouilli, and rose.....but I'm allergic to those too.

The good news is that this is changing. More and more workshops, schools, 
and even the Seattle Opera are announcing no-perfume policies. I applaud 
those who at least take steps to raise this awareness -- thanks!

Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing
Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature) (very active peace movement here- see our 

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