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HOW YOU CAN HELP CHEMICALLY SENSITIVE FRIENDS AND CLIENTS

Do you want to interact with chemically sensitive friends, relatives, and clients without causing problems for them? Here are some ways to help.

  • Avoid fabric softeners, hair spray, insect repellent, and dry cleaned clothes. Avoid being around the chemically sensitive if you have a fresh perm.

  • Avoid scented products on yourself or your clothing. Omit perfumes, colognes, and after-shave lotion. Most shampoos, conditioners, hair gels and laundry detergents are scented; ask your friend or client what kind to use. Avoid lotions, cosmetics, sunscreen, and deodorant unless you know they are fragrance-free.

  • Avoid idling your vehicle’s engine any longer than necessary. The exhaust is toxic to many.

  • Be aware that individual tolerances vary. Listen to your friend or client and believe it!

IF A CHEMICALLY SENSITIVE PERSON IS COMING TO YOUR BUSINESS OR HOME...


  • Tell client ahead of time if there has been any recent painting, remodeling, or pesticide application. Use integrated pest management instead of standard treatment with toxic chemicals.

  • Eliminate air fresheners and fragrance-emitting devices. The ingredients are toxic.

  • Avoid strong cleaning products like Clorox, Lysol, and Pine Sol.

  • Electrical appliances can be troublesome. If possible, turn off fluorescent lights and non-essential electrical equipment upon request, or meet with client in another location.

IF YOU ENTER THE HOME OF A CHEMICALLY SENSITIVE CLIENT OR FRIEND...


  • Do not visit such a person if you have recently used pesticides or solvents, or smoked cigarettes. (The chemicals cling to your shoes, hair, skin, and clothing.)

  • Air fresheners in your car or home contain chemicals that cling to your clothing and hair.

  • Wear older clothing washed in fragrance-free soap.

  • If you are cleaning in a client’s home, use only the client’s cleaning products.

Please help keep it chemical-free. Thank you for your cooperation!



-Ariel Barfield, Ph.D., September 2002
HEAL of Southern Arizona