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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bee BS: Oddball allergies (45) RE: BS: Oddball allergies 05 Oct 08

Yeah, Becca, I sort of understand, and I try to be 'sensitive' myself - I don't argue with people IRL who claim an allergy/sensitivity. Perhaps it is a Nova Scotia phenomenon, but I find quite a few people claiming to have sensitivities or allergies to this, that, and the other, and for 'reasons' that simply don't make sense - to me.

There are, these days, plenty of pure scent oils available that contain nothing but distilled oils from the flower (say, roses). There are no 'chemicals' added other than the natural 'chemical' that makes up the scent molecules our clever noses encounter. Yet a person (not referring to you, but to a real person I know) claiming that they are allergic to the 'chemicals' in perfumes will still claim to be having an allergic attack if they smell one of these 'chemical'-free scents. The same person has no objection to a bunch of real roses from a garden or flower shop.

Also, a lot of such people live smack downtown in Halifax, which I assure you has its share of smells, most noticeable by us rurals when we have to drive in for some reason. A lot of those smells really are derived from combinations of proven toxic chemicals from vehicle exhausts, coal fired electrical plants (there is one visible from anywhere on the waterfront), the rail and container yards (also right downtown) and a wealth of other industrial sources. Now, I am willing to go with the possibility that exposure to these real toxic chemicals can make a person sensitive to other molecules which attach to our olfactory sensors, but the scents many people have identified as the cause of their problems usually have no relation to the real toxic smells endemic to their urban environment.

It has also been a noticed fact that quite a few 'scent-free' products actually use various chemicals to eliminate or mask the scents that are not added to the product, but are a natural odour of the ingredients. So the person is actually inhaling more chemicals from the 'scent-free' product than from the original product which had a natural scent. No scent, however, almost always results in no complaints from people who claim scent sensitivities.

I just find it odd that there are a lot of people claiming to be harmed by scents (not pollens, which are a known irritant and are different from flower to flower) that come directly from, specifically, various flowers (or leaves or roots, as quite a few scents are derived from plant parts other than flower heads) that have been part of the human environment for millennia, while not claiming harm from the known toxic chemistry of their personal urban habitat.

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