An Open Letter to all who are in Health Care Service
PLEASE PASS THIS LETTER ON TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO IS IN HEALTH CARE SERVICE OR WHOSE HEALTH IS AFFECTED BY CHEMICALS.
Dear Health Care Practitioner,
I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I am extremely sensitive to all things chemical, which includes perfumes, chemical cleaning products, scented laundry detergents, and even foods that have had fragrance added to them. I have severe reactions which can include migraines, brain fog, dizziness and fatigue. Symptoms can last hours or weeks.
The reason I’m telling you this is because you can do something to help me and others like me who react strongly to harsh chemicals - these include people who have allergies, asthma as well as chemical sensitivities. More and more people are showing signs of chemical sensitivities. I believe that is because there are more chemicals getting into our environment, our food, our cosmetics and cleaners. These toxic chemicals are not meant for the human body - or any body for that matter. We’re seeing what these chemicals are doing to wildlife.
Even natural scents may not be as natural as you might think. Essential Oils are often adulterated with synthetic fragrances and/or processed with toxic chemicals.*
So what can you do?
Simple. You are in a powerful position to do something that can make a world of difference for people who have immediate reactions to chemicals and healthier for everyone. That is to make your office fragrance free and as chemical free as possible by using natural unscented cleaning products. I’m sure you are already aware of the impact chemicals are having on general health and our environment. You can make a small, simple change that can have a huge impact. In addition you would be setting a positive example to others in health care service.
Petitioning government to mandate chemical free healthcare environments is underway but it takes a lot of time. You have it in your power to create a chemical-fragrance free office right now through your own choice. There is no downside for you - other than a very short transition period as people become used to going without perfumes and finding alternative products. This simple shift can offer life changing benefits for the growing number of chemically sensitive people.
While you are helping others, there is a huge benefit to you because you will be reducing your own exposure to harmful chemicals that have a negative impact on health over the long term. You will likely notice the difference in your general well being once you eliminate these harmful chemicals.
You’re welcome : )
THANK YOU for taking the extra care to make your office a healthier, more comfortable environment for your patients!
Here are some tips for making the transition (taken from Think before you Stink website - http://thinkbeforeyoustink.com/howtogofragrancefree.html:
- Refrain from using perfume, cologne, body spray, and scented aftershave.
- Use only “fragrance free”, NATURAL laundry products, including detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. Laundry products are the most toxic personal care products on the market. Even better, don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets at all.
- Use natural, fragrance free, personal care products, like shampoo, deodorants and cosmetics,
- Stop using commercial air fresheners, candles, and incense, including Febreeze.
NOTE: For a product to be fragrance-free, it must not contain any artificial/chemical fragrances. It should specifically say “fragrance-free” somewhere on the label and the words “fragrance,” "perfume," or "parfum" should not be listed anywhere in the ingredients. Sometimes laundry products will use the terms “free and clear” or “free of perfumes and dyes” instead of "fragrance-free," but this usually means the same thing.
Unscented Label: Watch out for products labeled “unscented” – they are not always fragrance-free as they may contain an artificial masking fragrance designed to cover up the smells of other ingredients. Also watch out for products labeled "natural," "natural scent," "natural fragrance," or "non-toxic" - these products often still contain artificial fragrances since the use of these terms is not regulated.
*Essential oils have become accessibility barriers the same as regular fragranced products, preventing people from being able to work, shop for food (even at health food stores), receive medical and dental care, go to school, etc., because the oils are being used and diffused everywhere under the erroneous impression that they are benign and harmless.
Flowers can also be a potential hazard to those with sensitivities/allergies. Many hospitals have bans on flowers like lilies because they have an adverse impact on patients."
-- Linda Sepp, GTA ME-FM-MCS Support Group