The EHA BC does not have advocates. Trained advocates are often available through disability centers, volunteer groups and community centers in your area.
PovNet has listings of advocates of all types throughout BC.
See also, "Finding Advocates" on page 14 of Newsletter #31 in our newsletter archives.
Chemicals compose synthetic fragrances to make a pleasant odour. These fragrances are used in all types of consumer products.
Many of those with ES are sensitive to all fragrances. European Union has designated 26 fragrance allergens, 16 are natural.
The exposure avenues include:
- inhalation through lungs;
- ingested (in contaminated food & water); and
- absorbed (through the skin, scalp, eyes, mucus membranes).
The skin and body can store the fragrance/chemicals and breakdown products for long periods of time and then release them into the blood stream.
There are both synthetic and natural fragrances that known or suspected to be:
- Skin sensitizers;
- Allergens — rashes, eczema;
- Hormone disruptors; and
- Carcinogenic chemicals.
Fragrances and chemicals circulate through the body affecting organs before they go to the liver for detoxification. This can:
- affect blood flow to the brain and blood pressure;
- clog the lymphatic system and impair detoxification;
- make for unnecessary work for your immune system and detoxification system to get rid of;
- trigger asthma or contribute to other illness because of the toxic load on the body; and
- disrupt the hormones and interfere with the sexual development of babies.
- Lymphatic System.
- Indoor Air Quality — BC Lung's information on scents and how it affects those who are sensitive.
- Scent Safety in the Workplace (PDF 63 KB) — Work Safe BC.
- "Prevalence of Fragrance Sensitivity in the American Population" (PDF 2.1 MB), Stanley M. Caress, Ph.D., Anne C. Steinemann, Ph.D., JEH vol #71, March 2009.
- Less Toxic Guide.
Each person's sensitivities and situations are different.
Procedures and products that are tolerated may vary. Products may be discontinued or "new & improved." Modify the guidelines as needed.
- David Thompson Region Hospital Protocol.
- EHA Quebec's hospital Protocol.
- Dr. Grace Ziem's Medical Care links page covers multiple medical issues.
Treatments and Clinics
There are many clinics and practitioners that one can go to for help. Most find it helpful to start by looking for and removing possible causes first.
- EHANS Less Toxic Guide.
- EWG Skin Deep Database is interactive. Check out your personal care for known toxins. Does not factor in sensitivity to natural fragrances.
- Safe Start for Kids by Washington Toxics Coalition — guides to least toxic products for kids.
Note: mould and mold refer to the same problem: mould is a Canadian spelling and mold is an American spelling.
What is It?
Mould is a microscopic fungi with airborne spores that are easily spread. It gives off VOCs (volatile organic components) and can be highly allergenic and toxic to human health whether you are sensitive or not. Different types of mold require different surfaces in order to grow.
How do I know if I have a mold problem?
Buildings with high humidity and leaks under sinks or in the roof would be at risk. Mold may be seen around older single-paned windows, on the grouting around bathtubs or on the walls and wallpaper.
If you suspect mould is a problem you can have your home tested to see what type of mould you are dealing with and locate the source. Removing it yourself can be hazardous to your health. Improper cleanup can spread the spores.
Chlorine bleach is no longer the recommended treatment. It can actually encourage the mould grow.
How Do I Get My Home Tested?
Building Biologists or Indoor Air Quality Professionals can test your home for mould as well as other indoor air quality issues. Building Biologists have the added advantage of being able to test for a variety of other problems that can affect your health such as electromagnetic pollution.
You can also contact the CMHC for a list of Indoor Air Quality Professionals in your area.
- Molds in Homes and Their Hazard Classes — Mold and Bacteria Consulting Laboratories.
- International Institute for Building-Biology® & Ecology — Environmental Consultants/Inspectors (BBEC/BBEI) to locate someone in your area.
- EPA's Mold Resources.
- Create Your Healthy Home — mold, EMFS, air and water quality.
Updated: September 28, 2016