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Scent-Free Policy
Scent-Free Policy of the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition: 
So that everyone can safely participate, including those with allergies and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne, or other scented products. Click here for details about how to be frangrance-free. And click here for ideas for fragrance-free products.

 
The Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition instituted this policy for all of our meetings and events because people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (also called Environmental Illness) experience serious and debilitating physical and neurological symptoms when exposed to the chemicals used in most scented products. These same chemicals also can also cause problems for people with asthma, allergies, and other immune problems such as cancer and HIV. Often, the health damage from these chemicals causes an individual to react to other intensely volatile substances, such as essential oils, tobacco smoke, and 'natural' fragrances.
 

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated by everyone involved in the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition!
 
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 reactions.

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.

Promoting scent-free 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.
 
 
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