Posted on: September 27, 2015
Posted by: rocky
Getting from point A to point B in a healthy way is getting easier and easier. Take the airport, for example. Water bottle filling stations keep millions of plastic water bottles out of our oceans and landfills, all the while protecting our bodies from bottled water risks. And have you noticed healthy snacks popping up in airports and even gas station pitstops? Things like organic fruit, nuts and grass-fed jerky are easier and easier to find. Bike sharing programs and bike lanes, organic fast food and even exercise bikes in airport terminals are now a thing. Traveling is getting healthier and I’m certainly grateful for these options.
But there’s still one major travel problem I consistently deal with time and time again … the dangers of synthetic scents. Have you ever stepped into a ride-share vehicle or taxi and just been absolutely floored by fragrance chemicals? Dizziness, headache, fatigue, asthma, nausea … it’s not just in your head — people experience very real (and often varied) symptoms after fragrance exposure. That’s because different scents contain chemical cocktails that can damage virtually every system of the body, including the immune system.
After talking to colleagues and patients and other friends and family members, it became clear I wasn’t the only one up in arms about the chemical assault taking place in these vehicles. There’s actually a Change.org petition circulating, urging Uber to ban all air fresheners and fragrances from vehicles. (Here’s another one from an allergy sufferer.)
I understand Lyft, Uber and taxi drivers aren’t on a mission to harm riders. But despite mountains of research showing clear links between synthetic scents and health problems, car air fresheners are still readily available. Old-school ones you hang off of the rearview mirror, vent clips, gels and car-specific deodorizing sprays are legal and, unfortunately, many drivers still use them.
Here are some fast facts on synthetic fragrances:
Anne Steinemann, PhD, a world-renowned researcher who focuses on fragrances and human health,...
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