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The value of going fragrance-free

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To the editor: “Better Things for Better Living ... Through Chemistry” — a decades-long slogan of the Dupont Company that developed and sold to the public products that led to the widespread contamination of our homes and environment with cancer causing chemicals. The company had years of internal research that clearly demonstrated the adverse health effects of their products and yet they kept selling them. Consumer and environmental safety took a backseat to profits.

Currently, our homes and environment are being filled with chemicals promoted and sold as a way to improve quality of life and happiness through the use of artificial fragrances.

I am one of the growing number of individuals, children and adults who are negatively affected by chemical fragrances. These chemicals have become ubiquitous in both private and public spaces. I can no longer open a shipping box or a library book without being engulfed by them. I request fragrance free hotel rooms when traveling in order not to become ill. I need to air out and wash my clothing multiple times after traveling or sitting in a waiting room in order to remove fragrance molecules that have been transferred to my clothing from surfaces used by others.

There have been multiple studies over the past 20 years that clearly demonstrate the causal link between chemical fragrances and increases in childhood asthma and skin conditions. These chemicals can bond to all surfaces and are difficult to remove. Clothing, dishes, furniture, books, cardboard, bubble wrap, the inside of washers, dryers, dishwashers and most alarmingly your permeable skin and lungs. They easily transfer from one surface to another by either direct contact or through the air.

What happens to those chemical fragrance molecules when they exit dryer vents settling onto plants, soil and enter the groundwater system? Chemical compounds have a well documented history of being used irresponsibly by companies to increase profits regardless of proven harm. For everyone’s sake and quality of life, especially that of your children, please stop buying and using scented laundry products.

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