Article of Interest: Did You Know There’s a Fragrance Free Movement?

Our team at the Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

Did You Know There’s a Fragrance Free Movement?” from Hello Allergies.

700 people falling ill at Camp Hill Medical Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia gave birth to the fragrance free movement. The year was 1990. Some kind of chemical contamination was the cause. After the air cleared, about 100 people (including doctors and nurses) claimed their symptoms lingered so much so they could not return to work.
The people of Halifax were aware of an unusually large number of people were suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in their area, so a ban; a fragrance ban was put into place.

This issue is important for people who suffer from chemical intolerance (CI), said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

Miller has long noted the issue of fragrances and essential oils.

“Once a person’s mast cells have been altered and sensitized by any of the TILT initiating events identified in our large, population-based survey of U.S. adults, everyday exposures that never bothered that person before, including fragrances, disinfectants  foods, and drugs, can trigger symptoms such as brain fog, problems with mood, memory and concentration, irritability, and anxiety,” Miller said. “Anxiety is a frequent consequence, not a cause of symptoms, in those who suffer from CI.”

Answer these three questions from Hoffman TILT’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!