Exposure to Fragrances and Perfumes in the Work Environment Could Cause or Exacerbate Asthma


Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Clark Seif Clark provides indoor environmental testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate asthma triggers and respiratory irritants.

Chatsworth, CA, September 11th, 2018 -- The perfumes and fragrances that are found in personal care products, air fresheners and even cleaning products are frequently encountered and all too common. While some people find these odors to be pleasant, these same scents can act as a respiratory irritant for others. Even worse, the smell of a strong perfume or fragrance could trigger an asthma attack for some people with the condition.


Controlling exposure to these odors in the home is often manageable, but for some asthmatics, exposure to asthma triggers such as perfumes and fragrances, is much harder to control in the work environment. Work-related asthma, also known as occupational asthma, is a lung disease that can cause a shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing after exposure to an allergen or irritant at work. Common workplace exposures that can cause the condition include contact with dust, mold, animal and insect allergens, plants and various chemicals, including perfumes and fragrances.


The California Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) addresses this workplace issue and has published information for employers and workers about exposure to fragrances. Their suggestions include:

·         Training employees about the health effects of fragrances.

·         Having a fragrance-free policy.

·         Prohibiting the use of air fresheners in the workplace.

·         Fixing or removing what is causing bad odors.

·         Choosing fragrance-free cleaning products.

·         Bringing in adequate fresh air from the outside.


“Decreased productivity, higher turnover rates, increased sick days, excessive medical costs and the impact on quality of life are all issues associated with work-related asthma caused by exposure to respiratory irritants and allergens with sensitized employees,” said Franco Seif, President at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Our teams of industrial hygiene and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) professionals at Clark Seif Clark work to identify asthma triggers, allergens and respiratory irritants of all types. This is accomplished through building assessments, inspections, testing, monitoring and training services. In addition to exposure concerns associated with perfumes and fragrances, CSC’s experts also identify other chemical compounds and microbial asthma triggers. The end result is a happy and productive workforce.”


CSC has sponsored an educational video about fragrances and work-related asthma that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/jY5G5Qha3VY


To learn more about this or other occupational, indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.csceng.com, email csc@csceng.com or call (800) 807-1118. 


About Clark Seif Clark

CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.

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