Scented products have an impact on everyone. For most people, perfumed, scented or fragrant products are enjoyed, but for those who have asthma, allergies or environmental sensitivities, exposure can result in illness, absence from work and even hospitalization.
“We want the Toronto District School Board to be a clean and safe environment for all of out staff, students and visitors,” says Chris Broadbent, Manager of Occupational Health and Safety at the TDSB. “To help achieve that, we are launching a Scented Products Awareness Program encouraging the TDSB community to reduce the use of fragrances and scented products.”
Using fragrances is a personal choice, however, by their very nature, they are shared, says Broadbent. The chemicals vaporize into the air and are easily inhaled by those around us. Today's scented products are made up of a complex mixture of chemicals which can contribute to indoor air quality problems and cause health problems.
“This awareness program will do just that – increase the awareness within our community about the impact of fragrance on health, wellbeing and productivity of those impacted by scents.”
It also provides proper steps to respond to scent-related issues, he says. If you experience a scent-related problem, please contact your supervisor to discuss options.
What can you do to help?
- Be considerate of those who are sensitive to fragrance chemicals.
- Avoid using scented products and use scent-free alternatives, instead.
- If you do use scented products, use them sparingly. A general guideline for scented products is that the scent should not be detectable more than an arm's length away from you.
- Do not apply scented products in a public area.
- Avoid using laundry products or cleaning agents that are scented.
- Air out dry-cleaned clothing before wearing.
- For more information and a list of fragrance-free and unscented products, please visit http://www.tdsb.on.ca/