20 March 2012

The next time you buy a plug in air freshener, think again.

I am on a tare.  Lots of money is made making our environments smell "nice" -- but at what cost? When I was pregnant with my first child, I was pretty much ridiculed because I became hypersensitive to scent.  A year or so before that, my dermatologist had made several recommendations to me, including using unscented detergent, using no scent in my home, never burning candles -- all for the sake of my skin and prevention of breakouts.  While pregnant, I stopped smoking.  I had developed asthma, probably as a kid, but it wasn't dx until I was an adult. Recently I had been at my children's pediatrician - and was astounded by the plug in air fresheners in the office, and by their reaction to my request that at least one of their exam rooms have the stink bombs removed.  You see, one of my kids has asthma, confirmed, and one probably has it but it hasn't been confirmed.  When at any pulmonology appt I was cautioned (all patients are) that anyone - patient or caregiver - wearing any scent would be asked to leave and charged a cancelled appointment charge.  When we moved last to the suburbs of Chicago, I knew I needed to find a ped with specialty or interest in asthma, to properly take care of my kids.

So I did. Or so I thought.  The specialty was listed on the website.  For both docs.  Yet when I went in to the office, there were plug in scent bombs -- TWO of them in EACH of the two waiting areas, plus ONE in EACH exam room, and in EACH exam room, another, not plugged in scent thing.  On one visit, there was a cloud of spray, when I was walking one or more of my children to the exam rooms-- I nearly couldn't breathe it was so heavy -- to which the doctor said there was an offensive odor (poop? the horrors! at a pediatricians office? that's almost as bad as smelling poop at a horse farm!)  I challenged the docs. They didn't like that I challenged them.  They bit back.  Insisted that I was the only parent to ever say anything about the scent things in every.single.room of their practice (except the office space, maybe the fresh air in their kept the staff oblivious?)  Really? I am the one with hypersensitive scent glands? What about the articles below?  Really? I'm the only one?  Seriously?  So, if you are reading this rant, and you agree, do me a favor. Get in touch with YOUR pediatrician.  Ask that a petition be started to ban plug in air fresheners at ALL pediatrician offices.  I'm starting with the top.  If I don't advocate for my kids' health, who will?  Apparently not these doctors.  My background in college was chemistry.  I LOVED organic chemistry in particular because of all the cool smells you can make.  I don't want my kids getting that crap in their lungs. It doesn't belong there.  

And really? A doc that purports to be a specialist in allergy and asthma -- having these toxins around kids - newborn to teens - with rising asthma rates all over the country? Why would you? How could you?  Please. Contact your ped. Ask them to petition the AAP.  They'll know who that is.  In case you don't, it's the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Or the AAAI - the American Academy of Asthma and Immunology.  Take action.  Start a dialog.  Be a part of change for the good. 

Don't believe me, or think I'm the only one, or that I am somehow defective and hypersensitive?  Read the links below then. It's NOT just me.  

The fruity fragrance of some air fresheners can be a bother.

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