Rosa Silk knows all too well just how deadly those teen-friendly body sprays can be. In Allergic Living's Story of the Month, Silk discusses her son Brandon's severe allergy to the chemicals in sprays like Axe Body Spray. He suffers breathing difficulties, hives, stomach pains and blurred vision when exposed to these chemicals, making something as simple as attending school a life-threatening event. Ever since Brandon suffered an anaphylactic reaction as a result of exposure to Axe Body Spray, Silk has worked hard to get the word out about these allergies. She's not alone, either. Scent allergies are not that uncommon. The Scented Products Education and Information Association of Canada exists to warn people about such allergies, and warn against the negative effects of fragrances in household products and skincare. They "disseminate information and provide public education about scented products including fine fragrances, cosmetics, toiletries and scented household products," because do we really know the chemicals we're inhaling? The answer is absolutely not, and Silk knows this better than anyone.
When trying to narrow down the exact chemicals that triggered her son's reactions, Silk was informed that the ingredient list of Axe Body Sprays are proprietary to the manufacturer, leaving her in the dark about what exactly is a threat to her child. Not only are many of the chemicals in our products poisonous, they're of immediate danger to people like Brandon who suffered an anaphylactic reaction. At what point do concerns of the consumers outweigh the privacy of ingredient lists?
Have you ever smelled a perfume or cologne and gotten an immediate headache? Does the smell of a cleaning product make you nauseous? Have you ever taken a sniff of a product and started sneezing? All these are (albeit fairly mild) signs of reactions to scents. Be aware! Scent allergies are, at best, frustrating and sickening to those who suffer from them, and at worst, they are deadly. They're nothing to be taken lightly. So how can you help?
Implement a scent-free policy for your workplace or school.
Educate others on the chemicals that cause these problems.
Adhere to the policies that limit scent by not wearing perfumes, etc. in public.
You can follow along with Silk's journey to protect her son on Twitter.
Read this post to find out how to avoid the chemicals in household fragrance sprays.