Fragrance sensitivity

Some people are allergic or sensitive to one or more fragrance ingredients. Some get symptoms when they use a product containing fragrance. Others also get symptoms when someone around them is wearing fragrance or when there is fragrance in a room from a cleaning product, "air freshener" or other source.

Fragrance is a common cause of asthma, rhinitis (hayfever), sinusitis, eczema, dermatitis, migraine and other types of headaches. It can also cause anaphylaxis (a potentially fatal allergic reaction), epileptic seizures, dizziness, fatigue, poor concentration, nausea and other symptoms. (These symptoms can have other causes - see your doctor for medical advice.)

Most fragrance ingredients are derived from petroleum. Some are known or probable carcinogens (substances that cause cancer), neurotoxins and/or known or suspected hormone disruptors. Many have not had adequate safety testing.

For more information see our fragrance brochures (printed copies are available to people in Australia):

How to be fragrance-free brochure 2019.pdf How to be fragrance-free brochure 2019.pdf
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You can download and print pdfs of the following posters: 

AESSRA poster no fragrance.pdf AESSRA poster no fragrance.pdf
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AESSRA poster fragrance ingredients.pdf AESSRA poster fragrance ingredients.pdf
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You can also request copies of the AESSRA brochures about fragrance.  To do this you can tick the boxes on the membership form when you join AESSRA Inc. or use the contact form. 

For more information about fragrance ingredients and fragrance-free policies visit:

Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employees with Fragrance Sensitivity The Job Accommodation Network (a U.S. government website) has suggestions for accommodating employees with fragrance sensitivity, including sample fragrance-free policies:

Dr Anne Steinemann Information about Professor Anne C. Steinemann's research into the prevalence of fragrance sensitivity in Australia and other countries, chemicals in fragranced consumer products, and resources including fragrance-free policies:

Skin Deep This is a safety guide to personal care products and cosmetics, developed by the Environmental Working Group. You can look up individual ingredients as well as many products:

ScentSense Information about fragrance ingredients and health effects, testing, regulations and fragrance sensitivity.

The Australian Human Rights Commission's Access to buildings and services: Guidelines and information has suggestions for eliminating or minimising chemical sensitivity reaction and also suggests looking at the Job Accommodation Network information about fragrance sensitivity (see link above):

The Case Against Fragrance by Kate Grenville

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