To the editor:
I hope you will print this so some local stores will see it. Since the advent of COVID and enthusiastic sanitizing, the refrigerated and frozen products in supermarkets have begun to smell like a laundromat due to perfumed cleaning products. Did you know there are unfragranced sanitizers available?
Fragrance chemicals diminish the quality of foods such as butter and cheese -- but more importantly, they make it very difficult to buy groceries for those with multiple chemical sensitivities or fragrance allergies. Such people cannot bring fragrance-contaminated items into their homes. Stores are hurting sales and putting up barriers to access when they use fragranced hand sanitizers and perfumed cleaning products that degrade air quality and contaminate products.
Studies show one-quarter to one-third of people experience some level of health problems when they encounter fragrance chemicals. Over 16 percent of people say "that if they enter a business, and smell air fresheners or some fragranced product, they want to leave as quickly as possible." (A. Steinemann, "Health and societal effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products," Preventive Medicine Reports, Vol 5,2017, Pgs 45-47.) Common physical reactions include respiratory issues, migraines, and asthma attacks.
Businesses, please use fragrance-free cleaning and hand-sanitizing supplies, which are available from most suppliers. If it's not available, let your supplier know you want it. Furthermore, if you get stock already contaminated from a wholesaler using perfumed products, I encourage you to request fragrance-free protocols from the wholesale facility. Organizations wanting advice or printed materials to help them reduce fragrance contamination are welcome to contact Fragrance Free Friends, PO Box 527, W. Dummerston VT 05357; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brattleboro, Jan. 5