There are several reasons to consider prohibiting perfume and cologne in the workplace. Firstly, such a rule may solve health issues, especially for employees who are sensitive to chemicals. Secondly, it may decrease potential poisons and carcinogens entering the environment, therefore improving air quality.
How Perfumes and Colognes Cause Health Problems
With the exception of checking the ingredients of every perfume or cologne used by employees, there is no way to ensure the workplace is untainted by chemicals that could cause health problems for employees. Even scents containing natural plant extracts can have adverse effects on health, and some fragrances contain chemicals that have the potential to cause cancer.
Exposure to a scent can cause symptoms ranging from mild, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, to severe, including respiratory problems, confusion, anxiety, and shortness of breath. Scents can be particularly problematic for those suffering from asthma, allergies and environmental sensitivities, and even the briefest exposure can trigger symptoms.
Why Scents Are Dangerous for Air Quality and the Environment
Often chemicals in a fragrance are unable to break down naturally and can bioaccumulate in animals and humans. However, even chemicals that do break down can contaminate indoor air and reduce air quality.
The Steps Necessary to Create a Scent-Free Workplace
Here are some of the steps taken by top sustainable businesses.
- An initial assessment will help business owners discover their employees’ opinions and enable them to gather suggestions for implementing a policy that is relevant for their particular workplace.
- Depending on the size of the company, a single employee or a committee should oversee the project and its development.
- Before putting the policy into effect, the designated employee or committee must inform all staff and ensure everyone understands the implications. This is the chance to address any concerns and explain the reasons for any resulting rules
- Partners, clients, and visitors to the workplace also need to be aware of the new rules, which the business can achieve by including a policy statement on all appointment cards, stationery and employment postings.
Making the commitment to create a perfume- and cologne-free workplace is just one way to start the transition toward becoming one of the top sustainable businesses. To go one step further, companies should consider extending their policy to include scented cleaning and personal care products.