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Ban perfumes and colognes in hospitals: medical journal

DH Vancouver Staff Oct 06, 2015 8:11 am

You either love them or you hate them, but artificial scents like perfumes and colognes are around us all the time. But now a well-known medical journal is suggesting to ban fragrances in hospitals because of health risks.

Around 30 per cent of people say they have a sensitivity to scents worn on the human body and 27 per cent of people with asthma say it aggravates their condition – there’s even evidence that suggests asthmatic patients are more sensitive to artificial scents than anything else.

“This is particularly concerning in hospitals, where vulnerable patients with asthma or other upper airway or skin sensitivities are concerned,” reads the report from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“There is little justification for continuing to tolerate artificial scents in our hospitals.”

The report points to employee laws that require accommodation in offices for people who are sensitive to scents, but none exist at all for hospital or clinical settings. They’ve been ignored because they aren’t disease-causing, but simply disease-exacerbating.

Some cases of atopy – which can lead to anaphylaxis – have been reportedly triggered in patients with asthma after interactions with artificial scents like perfume or bleach.

“We have much to learn about the mechanisms underlying scent sensitivity, but we know enough now to take precautionary measures in our hospitals,” states the report.

To read the full editorial, click here.

DH Vancouver Staff
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