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