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.
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:
Posted in Air Quality, Chemicals, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Products
Tagged allergies, asthma, AXE, chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, fragrance chemicals, hazardous air pollutants, IAQ, MCS, petrochemicals, STINK, toxic chemicals, unilever
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.
Posted in Air Quality, Chemicals, Environmental Health, Pollution, Products
Tagged chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, hazardous air pollutants, IAQ, invisible disabilities, laundry products, masks, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals, toxic chemicals, toxic trespass, travel
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.
For more about masks, see
Posted in Air Quality, Chemicals, Environmental Health, Health, Pesticides, Products
Tagged environmental sensitivities, GMOs, hazardous air pollutants, invisible disabilities, masks, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivity, pesticides, petrochemicals, toxic trespass
“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. “
To learn more about masks see
Posted in Air Quality, Chemicals, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Pollution, Products
Tagged chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, hazardous air pollutants, masks, MCS, petrochemicals, toxic trespass, travel
“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
For more info on masks, please see Continue reading
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Chemicals, Environmental Health, Fashion, Pollution, Products
Tagged chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, hazardous air pollutants, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals, toxic trespass, transportation
“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:
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Chemicals, Disability, Environmental Health, Health, Pollution, Products
Tagged environmental sensitivities, hazardous air pollutants, IAQ, indoor air quality, invisible disabilities, masks, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals, toxic trespass
When breathing the air hurts…
When we have to filter and “purify” the air just to breathe…
What options do we have?
Some 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.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Health Care, Pollution, Products
Tagged allergies, asthma, cancer, Chemicals, environment, environmental sensitivities, fragrance chemicals, hazardous air pollutants, indoor air, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals, phthalates, sensitive to pollution, toxic chemicals, toxic trespass, VOCs