New Hampshire Considers Perfume Ban for State Employees

perfumes, toxic chemicals, eco-friendly beauty, eco-beauty, green beauty, natural beauty, New Hampshire, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Michele Peckham

New Hampshire, whose state motto is “live free or die,” has a new champion in state representative Michele Peckham, who thinks that her constituents should live free of the consequences of other people’s poor decisions. The politican is the primary sponsor of House Bill 1444, a piece of legislation that would ban state employees from wearing perfume or scented products on the job, particularly if they deal with the public. “It may seem silly, but it’s a health issue,” Peckham tells the New Hampshire Union Leader. “Many people have violent reactions to strong scents.”

So tell us, is a perfume ban for state employees haute or not?

  • 33 Votes HELL NO! What a fascist move to stifle a form of personal expression.
  • 73 Votes HELL YES! Why should people endure allergic reactions by no fault of their own?

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perfumes, toxic chemicals, eco-friendly beauty, eco-beauty, green beauty, natural beauty, New Hampshire, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Michele Peckham

SMELL YA LATER

For people with allergies or chemical sensitivities, strong fragrances are more than an annoyance; they can result in headaches, nausea, wheezing, or other respiratory issues. But if Peckham’s bill passes, it could produce another side effect: reducing New Hampshire residents’ exposure to the myriad hormone-disrupting chemicals that many artifical fragrances contain.

Because of a loophole in federal law, perfume manufacturers don’t have to declare the ingredients that make up their chemical cocktails. This includes phthalates, a class of estrogen-like substances linked to developmental abnormalities, infertility, and testicular and breast cancers, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Because of a loophole in federal law, perfume manufacturers aren’t required to declare the ingredients that make up their chemical cocktails.

As early as 1986, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences pegged fragrance ingredients as one of six categories of neurotoxins that should be investigated for their impact onf human health. Although the research was never funded, the EU’s Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-food Products found that one in every 50 people may become sensitized to and suffer immune system damage from those same ingredients. It also lists fragrances among the top five known allergens to cause and trigger asthma attacks.

Peckham introduced the bill after a constituent complained of seizures that worsened in the presence of fragrances. “One out of five people in the world has a sensitivity to fragrances that can cause either mild or severe systems, depending on who you are,” she adds.

In 2008, a state employee sued the city of Detroit after a co-worker’s perfume made it hard for her to breathe and do her job.

Although opponents of the bill accuse Peckham of inhibiting freedom of expression—a big deal in the “live free or die” state—it’s not without precedent. In 2008, a state employee named Susan McBride invoked the Americans With Disabilities Act to sue the city of Detroit, claiming that a co-worker’s perfume made it hard for her to breathe and do her job. The city awarded McBride with a $100,000 settlement and a city ordinance against scented body products.

This won’t be the last time you’ll get a whiff of Peckham’s bill. It’s currently under review by the Constitutional Review and Statutory Recodification Committee and must still go through the State Senate before it’s passed.

[Via Time]

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2 Responses to “New Hampshire Considers Perfume Ban for State Employees”

  1. Barringer says:

    If you need scientific evidence for the justification of this bill go to Betty Bridges’ Fragranced Products Information Network.
    Because perfume manufacturers (which by the way, also make allergy medicines and aspirin and pesticides and other toxic chemicals – Ritalin and antidepressants etc) don’t disclose the toxic ingredients in their perfumes (including those added to laundry detergents etc), Bridges and a few others used their own money to have testing of one of the products they got the most complaints on.

    EPA has done testing on fragranced products (laundry and other household scented products) and found they contain a soup of toxic ingredients.

    This is NOT about preference – it’s about the fact that fragrances changed in the 1980s to mostly petroleum based synthetic ingredients and they are now as toxic as tobacco smoke.

    They are neurotoxic, and in schools they can cause learning disabilities as well as respiratory problems.

    IF every state were to be this PROGRESSIVE, then perfume manufacturers would be forced to disclose their poisons and then create products that DON’T contain hazardous ingredients.

    Though some would still have allergic reactions to some natural scents, there would not be the poisoning and accumulation of poisons in our systems that result in the compromised immune systems we are seeing today.

    Make no mistake about it. producers of pesticides and other pollutants are also producers of perfumes, and they profit by making you sick – coming and going (almost every polluting chemical industry has a pharmaceutical subsidiary).

    If perfumes were to no longer be petroleum bases (pesticides as well) think of all the oil we’d save – not that that’s a priority to those running this country.

  2. anti-smell says:

    this is not an ultimate solution, people need to be educated and be reminded how to concern about other people!
    come and visit http://antismell.wordpress.com/, anti-smell campaign!

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