On August 10, 2012, our Fragrance Free Day Twitter panel fielded questions and provided tips to those joining us. Thanks again to Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (http://www.patrickmahaney.com) and Dr. Stephen Ziman, organic chemist for making yourselves available to answer questions on how fragrances can affect our pets and our families health!
For those who were unable to join us, below are Q&A from our third Fragrance Free Day (2012) and some expanded answers to questions posed to the panel.
Question 1 from @jordan_feeney: How do fragrances stay in the air for so long and what is the impact to pets and people? #fragrancefreeday
Answer from @PatrickMahaney: #Pets may be impacted by fragrances that irritate their eyes, nose, mouth, lungs, skin, & digestive tract. #FragranceFreeDay
Answer from @CleanandGreen: Fragrances are very volatile and remain in the area for a long time b4 they’re ventilated out. #FragranceFreeDay. For people, some chemicals in some fragrances have been ID’d as hormone disruptors #FragranceFreeDay.
Extended Answer from CleanandGreen: Fragrances have chemicals which cause a secondary reaction in indoor air and contribute to the formation of formaldehyde and ultra-fine particles. Ultra-fine particles are small enough so that they be absorbed through cell walls. Fragrances have been tied to allergic dermatitis, asthma, headaches, mucosal symptoms.
Tip from @CleanandGreen: TIP: When cleaning your house, if you can smell the fragrances, so can your pet and they will be affected by them. #FragranceFreeDay
Question 2 from @RedHeadMeag: My dog has episodes of reverse sneezing. Scary! I know allergens are a source – could what I’m cleaning with be, too? #fragrancefreeday
Answer from @PatrickMahaney: Yes, your cleaning products may trigger an episode of reverse sneezing. #FragranceFreeDay. For safety sake, it’s best to keep your #dog, #cat, or other #pets (birds, etc) out of area being cleaned. #FragranceFreeDay
Question 3 from @alexisel: My cat was recently diagnosed with asthma. Should I look into switching to fragrance free products? #fragrancefreeday
Answer from @PatrickMahaney: Gr8 question! Yes, you should use fragrance free cleaning products (& litter) if you have an asthmatic #cat. #FragranceFreeDay
Answer from @CleanandGreen: Respiratory problems (in humans or pets) = no fragrances in your home. #FragranceFreeDay
Tip from @CleanandGreen: TIP: DEP (diethyl phthalates) can be used in cosmetics & fragrances & are identified as a potential hormone disruptor. #FragranceFreeDay
Question 3 from @MissJRF: The effects of chemical fragrances are scary – no doubt. But I really love wearing my perfume every day. Help! #fragrancefreeday
Answer from @CleanandGreen: Although you love wearing your perfume, it’s a health issue, so start by just wearing it on special occasions. #FragranceFreeDay
Extended Answer from CleanandGreen: I know this is asking a lot, but remember, it is a health issue, not only for your pet, but for you too! Chemicals in fragrances are linked to hormone disruptors that scientists believe are linked to breast cancer and other health issues linked to hormonal imbalances in our system. So, start slow and work your way towards being as fragrance free as possible.
Tip from @CleanandGreen: TIP: Every fragrance (natural or synthetic) has chemicals and can cause all of the problems we’ve mentioned. #FragranceFreeDay
Tip from @CleanandGreen: TIP: Can’t give up your perfume? Wear it less frequently, in lower quantities & cut back on other fragranced products. #FragranceFreeDay
Question 4 from @thespottedduck: I know fragrances cause air pollution in the home. What can I do to improve my home’s air quality for me & my pets? #FragranceFreeDay
Answer from @PatrickMahaney: Gr8 question. I’m going to answer in multiple parts. #FragranceFreeDay.
1. Have your home heating & cooling system seasonally serviced and change filters regularly. #FragranceFreeDay.
2. Use ventilation to move air around your home. Open windows and use both overhead and oscillating fans. #FragranceFreeDay.
3. Use completely non-toxic cleaning systems, such as vacuuming & deep steam cleaning. #FragranceFreeDay.
4. Clean your cat’s litter box once to twice daily & have your dog eliminate outdoors instead of on pads. #FragranceFreeDay.
Answer from @CleanandGreen: 3. Also, use fragrance free cleaning products in your home. #FragranceFreeDay
Tip from @CleanandGreen: TIP: Regularly clean any surfaces that come in contact with your nose or mouth, i.e. bed sheets, towels, etc. #FragranceFreeDay
Tip from @CleanandGreen: Last TIP: Don’t go fragrance free cold turkey, look at all your products & cut easiest ones first. #FragranceFreeDay
Tip from @PatrickMahaney: #Vet Tip: Just because a product says “all natural” does not mean that it is safe for use on or around your #pet. #FragranceFreeDay
@CleanandGreen to @PatrickMahaney: Great point! A lot of people think citrus products are safe but lemon, pine, etc. are actually toxic. #FragranceFreeDay
Tip from @PatrickMahaney: Another #Vet Tip: Do not use “essential oils” on your #cat. Sever toxicity, including liver failure, can occur. #FragranceFreeDay
Tip from @PatrickMahaney: #Vet Tip: Cough, sneeze, eye discharge, salivation, & behavior change are signs of chemical inhalant toxicity in #pets. #FragranceFreeDay
@CleanandGreen: Remember: It’s not only your pet’s health, it’s human health too. #FragranceFreeDay