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There are thousands of fragrances/scented products available on the market. Whenever possible, purchase products that do not contain scents. Chemicals used to add scents to products can cause serious health problems for some people, especially for people with lung diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Being near a scented product can make some people sick. Scents are found in deodorants, hairsprays, shampoos, lotions, cleaners, detergents, cosmetics, candles, and more.


  • If you use perfume and other fragrances, apply sparingly. Apply them away from other family members in a well-ventilated area.
  • Store perfume and other fragrances in a sealed container to prevent scents from escaping.
  • Wash and store clothes that carry perfume odours separate from clothes of family members who are affected by scents.
  • If someone can smell your perfume more than an arm's length away, you should decrease the amount of perfume you wear to prevent it from affecting sensitive individuals.
  • Visit Health Canada's website on cosmetic ingredients and labelling. You can also visit Health Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist for a list of restricted or banned ingredients.

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