Category Archives: Products

Unilever to Disclose Some (but not all) AXE and Other Fragrance Ingredients

Unilever, the company responsible for making disabling products like AXE (aka LYNX) has announced they will be expanding their product ingredient lists  to include fragrance ingredients above 0.01 percent (100 parts per million) in a product’s formulation (via the SmartLabel app, but not on the actual labels *)

Here’s what we need to know:

* 20 parts per million (ppm) is the FDA’s standard for ‘gluten-free’ *

Which means that people who are allergic or “sensitive” can suffer serious and life threatening effects from substances at well below 100 ppm, and we still won’t know what is causing the symptoms, or what we need to avoid to stay alive.

unilever-banner

This plan may help people who aren’t knowingly or immediately affected by fragrance exposures to choose their products more wisely, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough to help those of us who are disabled by or have life threatening reactions to their products.

Edited to add:

Unilever’s fragrance transparency is a major green-wash at 100 ppm, when gluten-free has to be below 20 ppm, and people with isothiazolinone (aka MI) allergy react to as little as 3 ppm, perhaps less.

Also,  long-term health limit for fumes from dry-cleaning solvents has dropped from 20 parts per billion to an infinitesimal 2 parts per billion because long-term exposure to even very low concentrations can result in cancer, as well as fetal development problems for pregnant women.

Other interesting tidbits about Unilever:

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What I Wear in Bad Air :: Lisa T

2016 Lisa Mary T

This photo was taken of me at my parent’s home, to demonstrate how I attempted to protect myself to be able to visit them, 2000 miles away.

When I can’t avoid exposures, I wear a mask to try to keep as functional as possible. Exposures affect my brain, my breathing, and I get more exhausted, etc. Even without the mask, I have challenges with my brain, breathing, energy, etc. Wearing the mask weakens me but not as much as a direct exposure would.

I am sensitive to chemicals in perfume, cologne, aftershave, hair care products, hand sanitizer, sunblock, air “freshener”, chlorine, white board and markers, building materials, cleaning products, laundry soap, dryer sheets, paints, pesticides, gasoline fumes, gas appliances, some plants, new asphalt, etc.

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What I Wear In Bad Air :: Brenda

 

2016 Brenda

I wear my mask when out on my ebike to protect myself from exhaust fumes and chemical sprays on residential lawns. In the warmer months I need to wear it when travelling outside of town in a car to protect myself from agricultural pesticides drift as I live in an area that grows mostly corn and beans, probably mostly GMO and sprayed liberally with pesticides. I also wear it in grocery stores, thrift stores and the mall. Even with the mask I rarely venture into a mall.

~ Brenda

For more about masks, see

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What I Wear In Bad Air :: K.B.

 

2016 K.B. Disneyland vacation

“I need to wear a mask around people due to artificial fragrances, car fumes, etc. ‘Normal’ everyday activities, such as putting petrol/gas in the car, can no longer be done.

This photo represents that fact that we can often overcome things that seem impossible. Taken in California in Disneyland on our family trip from Australia to California this year thanks to ‘safe’ accommodation at a friends house, oxygen, mask, activated carbon scarfs & bedding, truck full of supplements & healthy eating. “

~ K.B.

To learn more about masks see

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What I Wear In Bad Air :: Heather D.

 

2016 Heather Drakonis in VOG mask

“I never leave home without it. I picked the fun looking Space Invaders to try and make others more comfortable with me. I take the bus once or twice a month to Seattle for my medicine. With my mask I have reduced my pneumonia by almost 60%. I do feel like people think I’m going to make them sick. Some cross the street with their children. It saves my life, but hurts my feelings. I just want society to understand that my mask is no threat to them.”

~ Heather Drakonis

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What I Wear In Bad Air :: Ellie

 

2016 Ellie

“Instead of cancer, I got MCS, meaning I stop breathing on contact with your everyday chemicals (plus a multitude of other symptoms.) Hey, there’s another perk! You might finally have the excuse you need to buy an expensive gas mask that can also be used with costumes! After all, once you get MCS, you can’t leave the house without one, so you’ll always be dressed for an adventure! #GoNatural”

Ellie uses this mask:

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When We HAVE to Wear A Mask to Breathe and Function

When breathing the air hurts…

When we have to filter and “purify” the air just to breathe…

What options do we have?

many masksSome of the many (mostly nuisance level particulate) masks available in Asia, where people aren’t afraid to be creative or silly, despite the seriously sad need.

Having an invisible disability is difficult, especially when many of the adverse effects are delayed and we have to deal with them in isolation.  Some people feel  self conscious about wearing a mask, especially if we can’t find a “pretty” one that we are able to use, despite how they can reduce adverse effects. If there’s any good that comes from wearing one (in addition to protecting our health a bit) wearing a mask when we have an invisible disability helps make us visible.

The type of mask we benefit most from will depend on our “sensitivities” and circumstances. Masks will filter the air we breathe in various degrees, but unless we have a full face respirator and wear a hazmat suit, our eyes and skin will still absorb chemicals that can have an adverse effect on our health and well-being. For this reason, they should not be thought of as complete protection from pollution, and are therefore best used only when absolutely necessary.

Information and resources about masks that filter out some of the different types of daily pollutants we are subjected to, and what kinds of filter materials are needed to purify what kinds of pollutants follows.

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