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.