Resources for Scent-Free Spaces
Learn more about scents and how to avoid them for yourself and others. You can also use these resources to begin working together to create inclusive scent-free spaces.
Scent-Free Education and Policy Materials
Inform your colleagues of your efforts to support scent-free spaces in your email signature. Suggested email signatures lines are listed below, or develop your own. You can link to this website.
- Scent-free (why include this?)
- I am scent-free in shared air spaces
- Join me in being scent-free
- Learn more about creating scent-free spaces
- Or try this Email Signature from the American Lung Association: “This is a fragrance-free workplace. Thank you for not wearing any of the following during your visit: cologne, after shave lotion, perfume, perfumed hand lotion, fragranced hair products, and/or similar products. Our chemically-sensitive co-workers and clients thank you.”
Workplace Policies and Signage
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, similar to U.S. OSHA.
- Policy on Environmental Sensitivities, Canadian Human Rights Commission
- Sample fragrance-free policies and procedures, The American Lung Association
- Sample policy language, Job Accommodation Network
- "Fragrance is not appropriate for a professional work environment, and the use of some products with fragrance may be detrimental to the health of workers with chemical sensitivities, allergies, asthma, and chronic headaches/migraines." Full Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Indoor Environmental Quality Policy
- "Individual facilities may choose to designate their facility as “scent free zones.” Fragrances and other scented hygiene products shall not be used/worn by staff in designated scent free zones." Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Dress Code, Policy Number: 20.70.010
- Hyperlinked List of Fragrance-Free Policies in Private, Governmental, and Medical Environments, National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation
College Campus Examples:
- Canadian Mennonite University Scent-Free Policy and FAQs
- Portland State University Fragrance-Free Statement
- University of Missouri Fragrance-Free Environment
- University of Toronto Scent-Free Guideline
- Syllabus Statement Example: "The University of Winnipeg promotes a scent-free environment. Please be respectful of the needs of your fellow classmates and your instructor by avoiding the use of scented products while attending lectures. Exposure to perfumes and other scented products (such as lotion) can trigger serious health reactions in persons with asthma, allergies, migraines or chemical sensitivities. We are asking for your cooperation to create a scent-free environment on campus by students, faculty and staff." Source: University of Winnipeg
Door and Room Signage:
- Scent-Free Downloadable Signage, The Lung Association, Saskatchewan, Canada
Hosting Accessible Events
There are many examples of organizations creating awareness around and supporting all event participants with scent/fragrance-free event postings. Ask your own organizations if one exists or if you can create one.
Please refrain from wearing scented products such as perfumes/colognes, hair products, cosmetics, and scented lotions while attending this event, and avoid using scented soaps, shampoos, and detergents prior to the event. These products can trigger serious health issues for those with fragrance allergies and/or chemical sensitivities.
Fragrance-free seating sections will also be provided for those who require an additional precaution during the event. When possible, fragrance-free handsoap will be provided in restrooms for the use of all guests.
Thank you for your consideration for all members of our community.
Open Web Resources for More Information
- Accessibility: A Beginner’s Guide to Fragrance and Chemical Sensitivities
- Volatile chemical products emerging as largest petrochemical source of urban organic emissions. In the journal, Science, February 2018
- National Prevalence and Effects of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
- Scented Products Emit a Bouquet of VOCs
- Skin Deep Database, Environmental Working Group
- 2016 List, 3,000+ chemicals that can be used in an undisclosed "fragrance" formulation
Books, Films, and Popular Short Reads
- The Air Pollutants in Your Medicine Cabinet. The Atlantic. February 2018.
- The Case Against Fragrance. 2017. Kate Grenville. ISBN: 1925355950.
- Interactive Quiz for Exposure. New York Times. February 2018.
- Stink!. 2015. Jon. J. Whelan. Documentary Film.
- Toxic chemicals found in common scented laundry products, air fresheners, University of Washington
- Dangers of Synthetic Scents, draxe.com
- Fragrance free femme of colour realness, brownstargirl.org
- Get Mad When Folks Ask You to Be Scent-Free? Here Are 8 Things to Consider, everyday feminism magazine
- How to Be Fragrance Free, peggymunson.com
- I Have MCS. Marie Claire.
- Scents and Sensitivity, Environmental Health Perspectives