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Allergy to Febreeze
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taiko_ posted:
My roommate and I came upon a disagreement when I had sprayed my scented Febreeze in the room without prior knowledge of her being allergic to it. She had no allergic reaction when she came into the room for about 30 seconds a few minutes after I sprayed it, but she promptly left after she asked if it was air freshener I sprayed. I believed her at first, but after some digging on the internet to see how common this allergy is, I found out that people who have this sort of allergy are allergic to all kinds of perfumes and other scented items. My roommate is only allergic to Febreeze specifically, and only the ones that are not the original scent. My argument is that I have odor neutralizing gel beads with an apple cinnamon scent, a diffuser, and perfume that she doesn't seem to be allergic to at all. She also uses scented dish soap frequently with no consequences, and also specifically told me that it was only Febreeze brand air fresheners that she is allergic to. I am no longer able to spray the air freshener I enjoy, and I must spray my most hated scent in order to not affect her. I would greatly appreciate if someone could tell me if it is possible for her to be allergic to only the febreeze (and only the ones that are not the original scent and the pet odor eliminator, which she is completely okay with), but not every other scented item that I have out and in use. Please help to get to the bottom of this.
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sgbl88 responded:
Your roommate is correct. She may be able to tolerate most fragrances and not tolerate a specific airfreshner.

Fragrances are not true allergies, but can be servere irritants. There is some debate on that though. Research is being done to determine if there are allergens in fragrances.

Some people are highly reactive to most or all fragrances/odors while others only react to very specific fragrances. I react to most odors, but I know people who are very specific in their reactions, cinnaomn, rosemary, and basil being among the worst. One person I know reacts to some florals, but anything with a rose base will really set her off. Another friend is the same way with citrus, the worst being lemon. She can't even cut a lemon.

I hope that helps you some.

Take care and God bless.

Sonya
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end... Ye shall seek me, and find [me]
 
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Gwaven responded:
I just had a terrible reaction to generic febreze from Kroger. In 30 minutes after spraying my sheets and closet my eyes started watering,nose running, lung congestion. I was really frightened. I have washed sheets and aired out room with fan in window for two days and still can't go in room. I am not sure where to go from here. Might have to move to another bedroom!
 
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2thousand13 replied to Gwaven's response:
My reaction is severe hives that close my eyes and throat, I can always tell when it comes because I have rashes in doubles..it starts on my butt cheeks then my elbows, then carrys on to my knees and then my chest...I have been to the hospital many of times for this and they don't know why...I have these reactions. I simply tell them I have sat on the bed or couch and it starts with my buttocks or elbows because it is where I touch the Ffabreze..not sure why they call it a hyprogenic fragrance but it is not if it makes people have allergic reactions..
 
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Cultural_Gravity responded:
First, it needs said; there's only 1 real way to remove scent; bind water to the oil and/or fat molecules that the nose picks up as scent (washing), or trick the nose. Overpowering the nose with a "loud" scent is the most common trick, and Febreeze does do this, but that's not all it does. Febreeze's primary active ingredient is Hydroxypropyl Beta Cyclodextrin. Sounds scary, but it's simply a carbohydrate (made during the conversion of corn starch). It's a donut shaped molecule that water can bind to only on the outside, but oil and fat can bind to only on the inside. Basically, the stink gets trapped in the donut. The stink molecules aren't removed, but it doesn't get to the nose receptors because it's trapped in the HP 3B2CD molecule.
The biological cause/s of allergies remain a mystery, but if it's related to the size of molecules, then it would be entirely plausible that a person could be allergic to Febreeze, while not (knowingly*) being allergic to fragrances. Natural smells (including dislikable ones) are usually small molecules, but artificial ones are larger. Think about it; the Beta Cyclodextrin is large enough to envelope the small molecules, making them larger that even the molecules of perfumes.
So-called "fabric softener" are also pervasively large molecules, larger than artificial scents, because of how they emulate "softening". The order of allergic-ness, based on molecule size would be;
1) Febreeze
2) Fabric Softener
3) Perfumes/Cologne
In other words, you can be allergic to 1 & 2, but not 3 - but if you're allergic to 3, you'll be allergic to 1 & 2.

*Not all allergies manifest themselves in ways that are obvious to the victim. I wonder how many people who experience everything from migraines to Tourette's might, actually, just have a scent allergy.

Additional note; packages sent via the US Postal Service are believed to all be tested for explosives. The most common method of passive explosives testing is to blow a testing agent through the package, where the molecules of volatile chemicals can be detected by sensors. It's plausible that this is also done with a Cyclodextrin. Mailed packages all seems to have a Febreeze odor to them. Persons allergic to Febreeze should wear a mask while opening mailed packages, and allow them to air out in an unattended location.
 
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stephaniesmith86 replied to Cultural_Gravity's response:
Cultural_Gravity, I was very interested in your response. Its obvious you have more knowledge of this kind of thing than most. Could you please give me any advice on things someone could do to relive this kind of allergy. My grandfather has recently come into contact with a large amount of this kind of air freshener and it has bothered him ever since. His eyes water, nose gets stopped up and he even has headaches. He is seeing an allergy specialist but in the mean time do you know of anything that might help him at home. The stuff when all through the house and know he is so super sensitive to it. He has tried all sorts of tricks. I suggested changing his laundry detergent, soap, and deodorant to something unscented. If you have any advice on the situation I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
 
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cfitzgibbon replied to 2thousand13's response:
Your symptoms are all too familiar to my family. I experienced many of them myself but only during the periods in my life when exposed to excessive mold. Unfortunately you can have hidden mold in your walls that may not be detectable by your nose or eyes. Do you react when you sit on damp cushions outside? Do you have a problem if your washer door is closed for a while? How about working with old sponges or moldy strawberries? I would suggest you hire a mycologist to test your indoor air quality for both dead and living mold. If you are in New England I can recommend http://moldtestingma.com/. They supported us and convinced Traveller's Insurance to properly clean our home after a contractor flooded our walls.
 
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bkzbkz responded:
Some air fresheners do cause irritations and trouble breathing. I noticed that certain sprays made by Airwick irritate me more than others.


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