The Minnesota Transgender
Health Coalition instituted this policy for all of our meetings and
because people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (also called
Illness) experience serious and debilitating physical and neurological
when exposed to the chemicals used in most scented products. These same
can also cause problems for people with asthma, allergies, and other
problems such as cancer and HIV. Often, the health damage from these
causes an individual to react to other intensely volatile substances,
essential oils, tobacco smoke, and 'natural' fragrances.
Your cooperation is greatly
appreciated by everyone involved in the Minnesota Transgender Health
The last several decades
have seen a huge increase in the number of harmful chemicals added to household
and personal care products because no government agency regulates the
ingredients. Many of these chemicals are
banned in industrial settings because of their known effect. 95% of chemicals
used in fragrances are synthetic derivatives known to be capable of causing
cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, and allergic
Symptoms of chemical
exposure include dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, drowsiness, irritation to
the mouth, throat, skin, eyes, and lungs, headache, convulsions, fatigue,
confusion, and liver and kidney damage. As you can imagine, these symptoms
constitute serious barriers for people with chemical sensitivities when it
comes to participating in work and life, including involvement with or
attending events of the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition.
environments is very much like adding ramps and curb-cuts for wheelchair access
in terms of the profound difference in accessibility it can produce.
If you are not accustomed to
going "scent-free," it is important to think carefully about all the
products you use in your day. Scented products can include shampoo, soap, hair
gel, hair spray, perfume/scented oils, skin lotion, shaving cream, makeup etc. You
can find scent-free and chemical-free products at grocery stores and drug
stores more and more as people are realizing these possible dangers.
If you smoke, please stay
far away from the entrance to a building and not between the parking area and
the front door, so others don’t have to walk near you to get inside. If
possible, keep your cigarette downwind from your body while you are smoking.
Please keep in mind that chemically sensitive people will also get sick from
the smoke clinging to your clothing and hair.