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Healthy Minds Healthy College

Sniffing out the problem

June 5, 2014

Did you know that scented products such as hairspray, perfume and deodorant (and there are more) can trigger reactions such as respiratory distress and headaches? These are only some of many health problems scented products can cause. Certain odors, even in the smallest amounts can trigger an attack on some people. Just think what a heavily scented product could do. And just because a product claims to be scent free, it may have masked the scent by the use of an additional chemical.

dog smelling


Ask yourself the following questions:
1) Do you currently wear scented products to work?
2) How often are you bothered by scents at work?
a) Frequently? b) Occasionally? c) Seldom? d) Never?
3) If scents bother you at work, in what way are you bothered?
a) Clothes and/or hair
b) Stinging eyes
c) Coughing
d) Headaches
e) Interferes with work performance
f) Concern for long term health affects
g) Triggers allergies
h) Triggers asthma
4) Would you stop wearing scented products if a family member’s health was affected?
5) Would you be willing to stop wearing scented products to work if you knew it was affecting the health of others around you?

Scented products could be making a co-worker sick and can actually be a health issue that affects their work. If someone can smell your perfume and you are more than an arm’s length away, your scent is too strong.

Red River College is a scent-sensitive workplace and you should limit the use of these products while in our facilities. If you have concerns or are experiencing health symptoms, consider talking to your manager/supervisor or the Health Centre.

To find out what scented products can affect someone and what the side effects are check out this CCOHS site.