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Monday, January 24, 2011

Ban perfume?

Allergic teen's mom wants to ban perfume in school from Mom's Today. The following is an article and some of the numerous responses:

First peanuts, now Axe body spray?

The mother of an allergic teen in Indiana is suing her son's school district to try to force his high school to ban perfume and body sprays, which she says can trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction in her son.

Many elementary school districts have banned peanut butter from the lunchrooms in order to protect children with severe peanut allergies.

It's unclear whether the 17-year-old Indiana boy is truly allergic to perfumes, or if they simply irritate his asthma. Regardless, Janice Zandi's lawsuit has the potential to broaden the responsibility of school districts to respond to students' allergies.

According to court documents, ABCNews.com reported, the school's principal told the mother in the case that all she could do was ask students to limit their in-school use of perfume and cologne sprays, and allegedly said that the boy "just has bad genes."

What do you think? With all the different allergies out there today, how should schools respond? Is a ban the answer? (comments from this post on

Today posted responses:

I have HAD ENOUGH of the one voice being heard over the voices of the many! Freaking enough already people! Grow the eff up and take responsibility for yours and your own.

Instead of wanting to require other students not to wear deodorant or colognes,this try home-schooling then there will be no worries.Should we require all co-workers at our jobs to refrain from deodorants or perfumes too?What about when in a theatre or mall?or in a plane or train too? Lets not get carried away.

This mom should home school her son. Many children with environmental health issues are home schooled. What if her son encounters perfume in the work place? What if he encounters perfume at the mall? He needs to learn to live and adapt to his disability and not expect the world to stop because of him. Others can learn to be considerate but he will have to learn to adapt.

If your child can't hack it in a normal environment, you should make other arrangements, not sue the school (which is most likely underfunded anyway) for denying your request for special treatment. When will America wake up and realize we are not entitled to a darn thing?

Here in PDX, the arts organizations ask patrons to refrain from wearing scent(s) to concerts. This is simply common courtesy. I see no reason a school can't or shouldn't ask students (and teachers and administrators) to refrain from wearing scent(s) as a common courtesy. Of course a person has a right to wear scent(s); that doesn't make it right.

Forgive me for sayin so, but doesn't the kid have a 'me me me' attitude when he (his mom) is trying to demand that no one wear perfume? Do people need to bathe in perfume? of course not. But for the mom to expect that EVERYONE submit to the requests of her son is ridiculous and very much a 'me me me' attitude.

then keep him home I'm so sick of all these whiners whining of this and that if you don't like it don't try it if its annoying stay away from it im allergic to stupid people you don't see them banning them anywhere do you?

You can't ban something just because of one person's reaction. Have him wear a face mask in school. What's next, banning underarm deodorant!!

All you judgemental people on here need to do some studying on asthma and asthma triggers. Some people are not "born" with asthma. It is not something that starts as a young child either. Ask yourself this, is perfume really necessary? Is it vital to a persons existence? I should hope all you judgemental people say NO!! My Mom developed asthma in her mid 30's. Many allergens such as perfume, flowers, floral scents, candles, smoke, detergents etc. etc. will set her off into an INSTANT asthma attack. She rarely leaves her house. She does not go to church anymore. She will only go to her local grocery store where most of the employees there know she is highly allergic to perfume. It is sad, that there have been numerous times she has wound up in the hospital and the nurses taking care of her come into her room BATHED in perfume. We post signs on her room to let these nurses know not to come into her room if they are wearing perfume.

I agree with the Americans with disabilities act to an extent, but NOT to the extent that the majority of the population becomes disabled in their everyday life goings on because of 1 person or whatever. Society can only bend over backwards so much before they fall. Where is this persons responsibility?

Good lord, where does it end. I couldn't agree with the above poster anymore. What happens when this kid gets into the real world. As far as the principle saying bad genes, he/she is right. Modern medicine is weakening our society. People like him should have died already so that he could not breed and perpetuate his jacked up retarded, one armed and one half crippled leg of a genetic structure.

Oh, please! Perfume and cologne are not a matter of hygiene in high schools, they're a matter of social preference. In fact, I guarantee that if high school kids (especially the boys) were banned from using those products then the general level of hygiene in the school would increase dramatically, since they wouldn't be able to load on the smell-sprays to mask their stench. I remember high school all too well to believe that kids would somehow suffer and die if they couldn't use the stuff. Now, this kid could suffer and die if they keep using it.

There are millions of people in this country with "LIFE-THREATENING" reactions. BUT, it is their responsibly to know what those are and to protect themselves!!
I found this post quite interesting as I am allergic to strong odors and anything scented. Despite two letters from my physician.  My supervisor who hates conflict seemed to put the blame on me.  We were in a cubicle environment and after being asked to tone it down a bit.  Three coworkers decided to wear even more. 

While my supervisor was on vacation, Human Resources set me up in a closet space with every thing that I needed.  It was a relief as I would become anxious every time I had to go to work.  However, when my supervisor returned she said, that counselors, work in cubes only and that I would need to move back. HR stated that there was nothing else that could be done. 

I was even verbally assaulted by one of these individuals and followed into another building.  My supervisors response was that I shouldn't make a big deal out of having to move to another work area or having others volunteer to help me move.  She did allow me to move my entire work station or go and work at a satellite office.

I would not only have stomach problems due to the situation, but I would get migraines, uncontrollable sneezing, itchy, sinus headaches and infections, etc... Unfortunately, I am even more sensitive that before which by physician states that it is due to my prolonged exposure at work. 

I had our union try to intervene, but eventually was told that I would actually need to sue the agency which no attorney would take as it didn't involve enough money.  The general feeling from my supervisor seemed to be that I was making a big deal out of nothing.  The "blame" and "responsibility" were put on me.  Medically I was doing what I was told to do.  I do have a heavy duty carbon filter mask that works, but I would look like a hazmat team.  It also wasn't a good solution as I could not do my work which required a significant amount of talking and telephone conversations.  With the mask on, no one could understand me.

Yes, I do make accommodations outside of work which also prevent me from being fully active in the community.  I often have to leave places such as church, a play, theater, concerts, stores, resturants, etc... My husband now does the dishes and any cleaning that requires a cleanser that is beyond a natural form.  I'm worried about the next place I need to go to or my next job.

But, it is so difficult.  By the way, those who wear scented especially perfumes usually eventually develop allergies. Many of these products are have very toxic ingredients such as arsenic.  I am seeing more and more places that are fragrance free.  I've seen a couple of doctors offices that says that they won't be seen as the doctor is allergic.  Natural does not mean fragrance free either. 

What do you think? With all the different allergies out there today, how should schools and work places respond? Is a ban the answer?


J said...

That's a tough one! to be honest, I had no idea that people could be allergic to smells! I really have no idea what they should do. you figure that high-schoolers stink so they need to at least wear deodorant, but perfume is not necessary, they are not going on a date, they are going to school! lol

Ethereal Highway said...

I don't know what should happen or what is fair, but people who douse themselves in tons of perfume make me want to punch them when my nose starts burning and my eyes start watering. One of these days someone like me with less self control is going to do just that and I can't wait to read THAT article. Maybe the freaks who dump bottles of perfume on themselves should try bathing instead. I mean - REALLY - what kind of toxic funk could they be trying to cover up? Bathing is better. Maybe some deodorant if it's that bad? The perfume issue grates my nerves so much, that it is literally enough to make me dislike a person intensely and want nothing to do with them EVER if they are one of THOSE people. To me, a person who walks into a building reeking like that is the same as someone smoking in a public building.

And no - I'm not talking about the average person who uses fragrances. I'm talking about the ones who go hog wild with it.

Spin said...

The schools here are "Peanut Free and Scent Free".

It is an interesting discussion, especially in the work area... I like the school rule and I think it would be appropriate for work as well. I don't think the banning of deoderant is appropriate... B.O. can be way worse! :)

Tracie Nall said...

I am allergic to smells....something that my husband still insists is impossible (but that is another discussion).

My allergies are not to the point that yours seem to be, but sitting by someone in church or being in close proximity to perfumes will cause me a headache (which gets worse the longer I am in contact with the smell).

I think that schools would be within their rights to ban perfumes and scented deodorant (especially since unscented deodorant is available). Workplaces could do this as well. It makes sense.

kd8 said...

umm acctually 85% of people are born with asthma, so if you did your studies you would know that. asthma can be trigered by anything such as mold in the grass outside, or dust floating in the air, or perfumes for that fact. and yes asthma is life thretening. i would know because im the top 3 who will never grow out of it, and iv also been told that ever asthma attack me or anyone else has, they only get worse. so banning perfume in schools sounds like a great idea, theres no reason students cant shower more and use perfumes and body prays less instead of soaking themselves in it cause they think it smells nice.

Clueless said...


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. I think that you misunderstood the post. The first part is a letter that I found on the Internet with comments. The second half is about my reaction which is similar to what you wrote. I agree with you.

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