It is the goal of our organization to ensure that we have an environment that is conducive to learning and working. From time to time, individuals will request that an event, class or office be "fragrance-free." Some individuals in our workplace or within our programs have been identified as having multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), listed under the American Disabilities Act as a physical disability. Individuals with this diagnosis are sensitive to many products that we wear each day. These products may cause severe medical difficulties in individuals who are sensitive to them. Such difficulties may include migraine headaches, nausea, chest tightness, coughing, loss of voice, scratchy throat and rhinitis. Some of the reactions may be life threatening. Products that may cause these difficulties include perfumes, after shave lotions, hair spray, colognes and body sprays. Other products used daily, such as shampoos, lotions and bath products also contain strongly scented ingredients that may trigger a devastating physical reaction or illness. The reason that people respond to these products is that the fragrance in them is made from chemicals. They may be petro chemicals or other toxic chemicals and are carcinogens.
We thank you for your flexibility and your good faith efforts to meet this accommodation, as a growing number of people suffer from a range of debilitating reactions from exposures to these everyday materials, with this sensitivity affecting about 16 percent of the U.S. population.
For more information on MCS, visit http://askjan.org/media/mcs.html or http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/mcs/index.html.
You can also download this sample letter to use for programs and conferences: Fragrance-free letter (DOC)