Yesterday I reported on a group of students at Stanislaus State College, California, who are campaigning for a campus ban on fragrances. That story can be read here:
As I mentioned in that story,
this group of students hasn't managed to have the ban instituted just yet but other colleges and universities do have such bans.
Discovering all this got me interested so I did a little research online and came up with more information about fragrance bans being put in place. It seems a handful of cities and regions in North America have some form of policy aimed at alerting the public to the potential health dangers associated with fragranced products or restricting their use in public places.
Marin County, California has introduced a voluntary "ban" on scents in public areas. In Canada; Halifax, Nova Scotia, has hit the headlines over the past few years due to its banning of deodorant, herbal shampoos, perfumes, and other scented products in most indoor public places, including local government offices, libraries, hospitals, classrooms, courts, and public transport. City officials in Ottawa have also debated whether to bring in a blanket ban on fragrances after a public education campaign.
Most of these actions have stemmed from concerns over fragranced products triggering asthma attacks and affecting the growing number of people who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).
This all got me wondering whether widespread bans could become the norm as they have with smoking in recent years. As someone who has suffered from chemical sensitivities myself, I would of course welcome a ban. I'm not so sure that I'd be so receptive if I hadn't been affected in this way by fragrances which makes me wonder if large scale bans could happen. I think people in general still see fragrances as must have luxury products to be enjoyed and few realize they might be causing misery for a growing minority of people.
What do you think about this issue? Can you see widespread bans on fragrances in public places becoming a reality within say, the next 10 years?
About: Matthew Hogg ("Maff")
Diagnosed with M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome aged only 11 years old and subsequently associated illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Despite his own struggles he has constantly sought to educate and support others suffering from such "invisible illnesses" through his website, The Environmental Illness Resource. He fully recovered from MCS using his own approach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Health.