Written by Sherri Connell. Interview with Sherri, Melanie and Cole Connell.
Living with Environmental Illness is a challenge that often brings about isolation from public, friends and family.
Many loved ones feel overwhelmed by the endeavor of going fragrance free. They don’t know where to start, where to buy products and often fear making someone ill by missing something. Thus, they often avoid the issue and in turn avoid the person living with chemical intolerance.
As I tell everyone I come in contact with, using fragrance free and natural products is health choice for everyone. In other words, it can be viewed as a positive change for all, rather than a sacrifice just for someone who has an issue.
For those who for whatever reason don’t want to change out all their soap, shampoo, deodorant, lotion and hair products, one suggestion I have for people is to keep a Fragrance Free Kit.
Of course, if they want their loved one to visit their home, it will probably need to not have any air fresheners, new carpet, paint, lots of candles, carpet shampoo, stains, harsh cleaners, smokers, regular perfume wearers, etc. On the other hand, if these are not an issues, often there can be some compromise.
First, if the loved one cannot tolerate fragranced laundry products, those will need to be changed long term. These do not wash out easily and linger for many months or longer even when washed multiple times.
Second, we can purchase fragrance free shampoo, soap and deodorant. We keep this under our cabinet and pull them out to use for several showers before visiting with our loved one. We can omit other hair products, lotions, sprays, etc or add fragrance free versions to our kit.
For more information on living with Environmental Illness, the Choose Friendships Over Fragrances Campaign, resources and more: Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign
Do you or a loved one live with debilitating illness or pain? Invisible Disabilities Association
Disclaimer: I am not an expert and this may or may not work for you and your loved one. Please ask your friend or family member what they can or cannot tolerate and what will work for them. Also note that most likely alternatives will not work if there are air fresheners, new carpets, paint, stains, carpet shampoo’s etc. in the home.