Fragrance-Free Initiative

Last Updated: 02/19/2018

Overview

The mission of the initiative is to create a comfortable work environment for all by encouraging staff and visitors to minimize their use of products containing fragrance. The fragrance chemicals within these products can cause adverse health effects or discomfort for others.

We share the air

In the interest of promoting the health and safety of those within the building, visitors and employees are encouraged to maintain a fragrance-free environment. Please refrain from using fragranced products before entering and while in the building as some of these products can cause adverse health effects to individuals who are sensitive to them, including migraine headaches, difficulty breathing, nausea, chest tightness, coughing, loss of voice, scratchy throat and rhinitis. 

Please visit the Offenders/Alternatives page for a detailed list of products that can cause adverse effects as well as available alternatives.

Notable facts

  • One in three people in the US experience adverse health effects, such as migraine headaches and respiratory difficulties, from synthetic fragrance exposure.5
  • 30% of the general population find scented products on others irritating.1 
  • The majority of chemicals in shampoos, detergents, and other consumer products have not been tested and proved to be safe. 
  • Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors.3 The EPA has named indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health.4
  • 15% of Americans have lost workdays or a job due to fragranced product exposure in the workplace.5

References

  1. Caress SM and Steinemann, A. (2009). “Prevalence of Fragrance Sensitivity in the American Population,” American Journal of Public Health.  March 2009.  Vol. 71, Iss. 7; pg. 46-50.
  2. Urbina, Ian. "Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested?"  The New York Times.  13 April 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/sunday-review/think-those-chemicals-have-been-tested.html?_r=1
  3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  1989.  Report to Congress on indoor air quality: Volume 2. EPA/400/1-89/001C.  Washington, DC.
  4. "Indoor Air Quality: What You Can't See Can Hurt You".  April 25, 2014.  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/indoor-air-quality-what-you-cant-see-can-hurt-you-256690121.html.
  5. Steinemann, A. (2016). Fragranced consumer products: exposures and effects from emissions. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, 9(8), 861-866. doi:10.1007/s11869-016-0442-z