For the general population, exposure to scents is not typically problematic. However, from time-to-time, the presence of perfumes and other scented products can present indoor air quality concerns that may affect a person’s comfort. Furthermore, for a small portion of the general population, scented products may present a risk of health hazard.
For individuals with pre-existing conditions such as chemical sensitivities or sensitizations, asthma or allergies, exposure to some odours can cause a range of ill health effects. Some reported symptoms include: headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, fatigue, weakness, insomnia, confusion, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety, upper respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, difficulty with concentration, and/or skin irritation.
Scented products more commonly include the following:
- Personal hygiene products, such as shampoo, conditioner, hairsprays, deodorants, colognes, aftershaves, fragrances, perfumes, lotions, soaps, cosmetics and creams;
- Industrial and household chemicals and cleaners;
- Air fresheners, such as deodorizers, potpourri, oils and candles; and
- Various household products.
Minimizing the use of, and exposure to, scented products:
- Persons entering our schools and buildings will be encouraged to use scent-free products.
- Wherever possible in our schools and buildings, scent-free products should be used. The purchase and use of “unscented” products will be preferred over scented substitutes where possible. This will involve a review of Material Safety Data Sheets for commercial products currently used and those intended for use, as well as examination of product samples to ensure that the ingredients are unscented.
- Health and Safety 2016 Revision
- Wherever possible, maintenance, renovation, etc. with which an “atypical” odour is associated should be scheduled to occur at times of reduced occupancy.
Raising the Scent-Awareness of Staff, Students & Public
Employees, students, and visitors will be informed of this guideline through signs posted in Fort Vermilion School Division schools and buildings, website information, newsletters, and healthy workplace promotional materials.