In part I, I wrote about some of the everyday challenges like grocery shopping and home life. Today I want to talk about another challenge for those of us with MCS.
It's Sunday and today a lot of people are attending church services with their families and friends and fellowshipping with like-minded people that love God. This is something that I miss very much as I was brought up in Church and attended the same week I was born up until my mid-20's when that was no longer a possibility. Church is a place where people with chemical sensitivities and even people with asthma and other disorders have a very difficult time participating. Church should be a "safe" place for EVERYONE in the world, but a good majority of the time, it's a chemical haven that is very toxic. Many get headaches while they are in church or get very tired all of a sudden, or maybe they just notice they don't feel well on Sundays but never paired it together with being in church. It most likely never occurs to them that it could be from any of the surrounding irritants that may be present. Perfumes, colognes, body sprays, hair products, laundry products, febreze, deodorants, aftershave, new carpet or cleaning chemicals etc. all are very common irritants in society in general and church is no exception. In fact, it's more likely to be a place we can't go because so many have been brought up to "look their best" or "put on their best" for Sunday Services because it's part of their way of honoring the Lord. Well, folks, let me tell you.......perfumes were NOT created for such a pleasant sounding reason. Fragrances were first used to cover up the smells of dead bodies when they were preparing them for burial in tombs and the like. They were used by wealthy families in such a time and it became a sign of wealth to own these items. I think that people still believe today that fragrances are a sign of wealth. Especially those that purchase the expensive ones that are well-known and want everyone to know they are an owner of such and such brand. (My personal opinion, of course.)
There are alot of people and church seems to be overwhelmed with them, that are unable to realize how much they put on. One reason for this is that some of the chemicals used to create fragrances are neurotoxins and they literally can damage the nerve endings in our noses. When this happens, it takes more and more of a scent to be able to smell it! Aha! This is why so many people put on more and more of a product until THEY can smell it. I think it should be meant for those you want to be close to you to smell only.....something just for them, not for the whole world.
By the way, there ARE natural perfumes that are far safer to use and smell clean and romantic. You can even make your own with organic essential oils. I did come across a site that uses only 3 ingredients: water, distilled and filtered rye and certified organic essential oils. That's it! Plus, you can create your own label, choose your glass bottle from their selection and even add a logo or photo if you like. You can choose up to 5 different oils and create your own organic natural perfume. How cool is that? It IS costly though, but if you can afford it, it would be pretty neat! I believe it's $49.99 + shipping. Anyway, the site is called Scent Natural. I'd love to try it myself, but money is too tight right now. So, again, I have no experience in dealing with this company so order at your own risk. If you do order I'd love to hear how it all turned out for you! :)
I feel I must add, that ANY fragrance of any kind, be it organic essential oils or some other type of "natural" fragrance can and probably will be, still dangerous or toxic for someone else. Please use it very sparingly if you feel you absolutely must wear it. Natural or not, only a dab is ever needed. The whole world doesn't need to smell you........only you and maybe someone very close to you. Please protect those around you by making a conscious effort to be more natural and wear it ever so lightly.
**Note: At the bottom of the page I have an image of a shirt I created a few years ago. The front of it says: "Please make church safe for me......be Fragrance Free! :)" and the back says "Your body is a temple.......don't pollute it with toxic perfume". If you click on it, it will take you to the page to see both front and back images of the shirt.
~ Just trying to live as normal a life as I can one day at a time