The following are suggestions published by Kathy Rosskopf and Roland Pesch of noFragrance.org (2004) and may be reprinted elsewhere in the spirit of sharing information of help to those suffering from MCS.
Making Your Environment Safer (for friends with MCS. . .and maybe even for yourself!)
Use perfume- and dye-free laundry detergent.
Arm & Hammer's “Perfume and Dye FREE” product is good; other explicitly perfume-free detergents seem to work OK too.
If the package doesn't say it's free of fragrance, laundry detergent is scented!
AVOID dryer sheets or fabric softeners.
Instead of dryer sheets, a washcloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide, tossed into the dryer, helps reduce static cling.
To remove scent from contaminated laundry, try soaking in vinegar, or in dissolved baking soda. Borax helps too.
But some especially absorbent fabrics, such as knits, can be very hard (or impossible) to detoxify.
AVOID all products with fragrance: scented soaps, shampoos and hair conditioners, lotions (including suntan lotion and some medicated lotions), shaving soap/foam, colognes, perfume, aftershave, deodorant, make-up. . .
Products with so-called “natural” fragrance are usually no better than other scented products.
Worse: products labelled “unscented” sometimes contain something called a masking fragrance, which is just as likely to be toxic as any other kind of fragrance!
All of these things are available in fragrance-free forms, but you may have to search; and do read the fine print.
Again, if the package doesn't say it's free of fragrance, it probably isn't.
Some helpful products:
- Fragrance-free varieties of Tom's of Maine glycerin soap (liquid or bar);
- Magick Botanicals fragrance-free body lotion, shampoos & conditioners;
- Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion (fragrance-free);
- Crystal deodorant, fragrance-free Ban or Noxema roll-ons.
- To make soaps and lotions anti-bacterial, if you wish, try adding a few drops of grapefruit-seed extract (GSE).
Home- and Car-care Suggestions
AVOID all air “fresheners”. Get rid of nasty smells by cleaning, perhaps with vinegar, or brushing with baking soda.
White vinegar is a great all-around cleaner; combined half-and-half with hydrogen peroxide, it makes a good anti-bacterial cleaner (notably for toilet bowls).
Look for dish soap that's explicitly labeled as fragrance-free. Seventh Generation makes some, for example.
American Formulating and Manufacturing (AFM) makes fragrance-free detergent, and low-toxicity paints and glues.