May 2015
Occupational Health Watch: An update from the occupational Health Branch, CA Department of Public Health

Focus on

Fragrances Can Cause or Trigger Work-related Asthma

The Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) of the California Department of Public Health is releasing new fact sheets on fragrances and work-related asthma for May, Asthma Awareness Month.

Perfumes and fragrances used in personal care products, cleaning products, and air fresheners in the workplace can cause or trigger asthma. They are made up of many different chemicals, including several known to cause asthma, even in people who have never had asthma before.

WRAPP has found over 250 people reporting work-related asthma from fragrance exposures in many indoor work settings – including schools, hospitals, offices, and manufacturing.

New fact sheets for workers and employers explain work-related asthma, how it can be prevented from fragrance and perfume exposures, and what to do if a worker experiences symptoms. They include a model fragrance-free policy that can be customized for any workplace.

Photo: Office worker using air freshener at her desk


Worker fact sheet on fragrances and asthma

Employer fact sheet on fragrances and asthma

Model Fragrance-Free Workplace Policy

Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP)

OHB improves California worker health and safety through prevention activities.  We gather information on job hazards, test new approaches to prevent worker injury and illness, and help make changes at the workplace.

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