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A few years ago I was interested in doing a fragrance-free camping to raise awareness of fragrance issue and provide resources for people to easily eliminate fragrance from their lives. At the time, I wasn’t able to make that happen because there were other things going on in my life, but I also didn’t have the structure set up to be able to put the necessary information together.

Now with my new Zero Toxics website, I can collect and organize the substantiating documents needed to make a difference. And this past week two things happened that really made me want to make an impact in the world about fragrance.

Scent at the Laundromat

I’ve spent the last forty years living primarily in homes of my own, where I’ve created toxic-free environments down to every detail. But in September 2017 I left my “clean house” to move to California and live with my beloved Larry and his family while we make it possible for his 87-year-old mother to continue to live at home.

This has been a challenge for me in terms of chemical exposures. While I’ve made my needs known and they try to accommodate me, sometimes things happen that just wouldn’t have happened if I were in my own home.

Last week the clothes washer broke down. I was part-way through my laundry and needed to finish. Days were going by before we could get a repair man out, so i made a decision against my better judgement to take my clothes to a laundromat. Laundromats are chancy. I use them only as a last resort. I’ve used them in the past with no problem, but this week the machines I used had some kind of scent that has just been sticking to my clothing.

I have about six loads of laundry that has been contaminated with scent. Slowly I am rescuing my clothes by washing them over and over with EnviroKlenz Laundry Enhancer. Three washes seems to do it, but it’s taken a lot of time, especially since I’m not the only one in this household doing laundry.

But the point is we shouldn’t have to do this. I should be able to do a basic thing like wash my clothes without contaminating them. I think there should be laws that only unscented detergent can be used in laundromats. It should be sold in laundromats instead of scented detergents.

In my household I did get everyone to use unscented All free & Clear . So I don’t have this problem at home. But go out in the world and it’s everywhere.

Scent at the Heart Rehab Exercise Program

Also during the same time period Larry started a heart rehab exercise program as part of his heart attack recovery. Of course I have to go with him, and I’ve decided to exercise with him to protect my own heart.

But the place is full of scent—from coaches and clients wearing scent or using scented products on their bodies and to launder their clothing, to air fresheners and scented soap and scented toilet paper in the bathroom.

I was standing in the scented bathroom yesterday wanting some piece of paper to give them that explains the problem and tells them how to create a fragrance-free facility. I see signs in doctor’s offices around here that say “this is a fragrance-free office” but when I ask them what that means, they don’t know. They can’t tell me what to do as a patient to comply.

This is a lack of awareness, information, and training problem. There IS something we can do about this.

Putting Together a Fragrance-Free Campaign

To really put together an effective campaign I need several things.

  1. I need to know what YOU need and want. If you could wave your magic wand, how would you change things with regard to fragrance? What would the end result be? What are we wanting to accomplish?
  2. I need to define the problem. What types of fragrances need to be eliminated and in what products are they found?
  3. we need language and symbols with which to communicate. “Fragrance-free’ means different things to different people. Fragrances affect different people in different ways. Particularly we all need to know the terms being used and use them consistently and encourage their use.

I’m happy to put all this together to make an understandable and well-documented presentation, and at that point, I’l need you all to spread the word.

At the moment what I need and want is

  • to know your thoughts on what you think needs to be done
  • would you be interested in working with me to put this campaign together

I’m going to be setting up a section on Zero Toxics for this and will be working on it as an open project where you will be able to contribute ideas and feedback.

Today I just wanted to tell you this issue has escalated for me in the past few days from wanting to make an icon for fragrance-free products on Debra’s List so launching a campaign for widespread change.

Especially I want to hear from you if fragrance is a major issue for you and the problems you encounter finding products or getting others to live fragrance-free.

Also please post as a comment any fragrance-free products that you’ve used and are tried-and-true, and any organizations, facebook groups, etc that are addressing fragrance. I want to get this ALL together in one place.

Let’s start right now, right here.

Some existing resources (feel free to comment here on anything in these posts you agree with or disagree with).

MOM GOES GREEN: “Unscented” vs. “Fragrance-free”: KNOW the difference


EPA.GO : Safer Choice Fact Sheet – Fragrance-Free – EPA

PAULA’S CHOICE: Why Fragrance-Free Products are Best for Everyone | Paula’s Choice

SEED BODY CARE: The Important Difference Between Unscented and Fragrance Free

MUSTELA: Fragrance-Free vs. Unscented Products: What You Need To Know

MADE SAFE: Certified Fragrance-Free Products + Your Fragrance

THINK BEFORE YOU STINK: How To Go Fragrance-Free

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