What does scent-free mean?

Creating and supporting scent-free spaces is an accessibility and social justice issue.

Choosing to be scent-free is choosing to be an ally of those with disabilities and sensitives. It is working toward the creation of an inclusive environment where all can participate productively and healthfully. This is done by avoiding use of scented products.

Being scent-free means educating yourself and others about scented products and their negative health impacts. Being scent-free is an ongoing commitment to equity.

Scents Cause Adverse Health Effects

Reported symptoms of exposure to scented products can include:

  • Diarrhea or Abdominal Cramping or Pain
  • Dermatitis or Skin Irritation
  • Difficulty Concentrating, Speaking, or Thinking
  • Dizziness, Fainting, or Lightheadedness
  • Eye Irritation
  • Fatigue or Muscle Weakness or Joint Pain
  • Headaches, including migraine headaches or scalp pain
  • Heart Arrhythmia or Palpitations
  • Insomnia or Sleepiness
  • Malaise
  • Mental Confusion
  • Nausea, including Vomiting
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Upper Respiratory Symptoms or Distress, including Shortness of Breath or Wheezing

People with allergies, asthma, chronic respiratory, autism, hyperactivity, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other illnesses and disabilities can also be chemically sensitive.

"Allergic and asthmatic patients, as well as those with other conditions, report that certain odours, even in the smallest amounts, can trigger an attack. The severity of these symptoms can vary. Some people report mild irritation while others are incapacitated and/or must give up many 'normal' activities in order to avoid exposure (such as going to public places)." - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety