Survey shows health impact of fragranced products

Fragrance elimination: Port Macquarie resident Robyn Mitchell wants Port Macquarie to be promoted as a ‘green’ town to lead the way for change.
Fragrance elimination: Port Macquarie resident Robyn Mitchell wants Port Macquarie to be promoted as a ‘green’ town to lead the way for change.

Humans all need air to live. However is it possible the air we breathe is doing us more harm than good? 

Port Macquarie resident and Bird and Earth founder Robyn Mitchell said she is supportive of the elimination of all harmful fragrances from school, workplaces and shopping centres. 

“It would be a simple task and the benefits would surely outway any possible costs,” she said.

“Less people would be sick, having days off from work and suffering various disorders or allergic reactions.” 

A survey published by the University of Melbourne has shown one in three Australians experience health problems when exposed to common fragranced consumer products.

The survey drew upon responses from over 200,000 participants from across Australia. 

The results showed common products such as air fresheners, cleaning products and laundry supplies can result in adverse health effects ranging from migraines and skin rashes to nausea and seizures.

It showed while the use of fragranced products may be premised on improving indoor air quality, the contrary is the case.

“Fragranced products emit and generate a complex mixture of chemical pollutants including carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants but nearly all are undisclosed,” the report by Anne Steinemann said.

Ms Mitchell said majority of people work indoors where cleaners may service the office by wiping over keyboards and desks with fragrant chemicals.

She said room deodoriser is sprayed to give employees a sense that everything is clean and fresh.

“We arrive at work (or our children arrive at school) and are the innocent victims of the silent and harmful ‘fragrance’ and wonder why we have a headache or other illness all day,” she said.

“It is unfortunate that people have to get sick before things will change.”

Ms Mitchell’s business is based on natural skin care products as a result of her research and life experiences. 

In the future she said Port Macquarie could be promoted as a ‘green’ town to lead the way for change.

“I believe it would be great for the health and wellbeing of our community, visitors, environment, and tourism possibilities,” Ms Mitchell said.