Odors as a trigger

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Odors as a trigger

Post by Tee on Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:04 am

Odors including smog, smoke, perfumes, chemical are all possible migraine triggers - are any of these your and if so how to you avoid them?

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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Nekoha on Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:44 pm

Yes! Any strong smell seems to trigger a migraine. Well, if it is a "natural" smell, I am usually fine (for example, if I am in the country and smelling cows, I am fine). Yankee Candles is my worst nightmare. I avoid by holding my breath and racing to the nearest clean air spot if possible, then avoiding that place altogether from then on. I do not visit malls.
One pet peeve I have is that restaurants are not non-smoking in Japan. In fact, most places don't even have a non-smoking area. I despise when I am enjoying a meal out with friends, migraine-free, and some inconsiderate jerk lights up a cigarette at another table!

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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Tee on Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:09 am

Oh thats horrid - the UK is now smoke free in public places and its made a huge difference - just need them to do the same for perfume Wink

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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Tee on Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:10 am

How do you get on with the smog? My brother has just moved to Shanghi and he says the air is very heavy?

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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Nekoha on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:41 pm

Oh, how I would love a perfume-free world!!
You know, Tokyo is actually really clean compared to a lot of big cities. When I visited Paris a few years ago, I had black stuff on the Kleenex after I blew my nose. I thought for sure I was dying!! Shocked My husband just laughed and told me it was from pollution. Here in Tokyo, the air is relatively clean -- never had a black Kleenex, in any case! And we don't have heavy air or smog in most areas of the city. Just lots of smokers!

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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by pīwakawaka on Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:53 pm

I'm not aware of any smells that trigger my migraines. However, once I have a migraines some normally pleasant smells definitely make me nauseous and some smells help prevent me from dissociating.

Most cooking odours, even ones I really like such as sesame or bacon force me to leave the area or risk throwing up.

Many eastern incense fragrances and also lavender, peppermint and lemon-grass seem to halve a calming effect when the headache pain is severe.

I live on a hill on the windward edge of a small town in a very windy area of the country (the number of wind turbines on the horizon is confirmation of that) so I am not subject to any city type pollution. Occasionally in late autumn we can smell smoke from farm burn-offs, but that's only a few weeks of the year.
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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Laura on Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:00 pm

Perfume, cologne, aftershave and other artificial fragrances trigger my migraine attacks. Most of my coworkers are understanding and refrain from wearing it when they know we have staff meetings. I also try to stay in my office to avoid fragrance others may wear. Someone put a fragranced air freshening spray in the ladies room and it was being used too much. I had to get rid of it so as to prevent migraines triggered by the spray in the restroom. I'm also currently looking for a new migraine specialist - my last one insisted on wearing cologne.
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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Tee on Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:02 am

Oh I do hope you find a good doc Laura......... I personally hate those things they put in toilets that spray out stuff when you move.......

I do wonder in years to come if they will think us mad for using artificial chemicals for smells ........ after that vertigo migraine I had 2 weeks ago we have tightened down even more and hubby is not letting anyone in who 'smells' hee hee

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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Tee on Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:03 am

Laura - this might be of help re the doctor search:

List of migraine specialists in the USA.
http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/pdf/FINAL%20DIPLOMATE%202011%20LIST.pdf

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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Laura on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:47 am

I've read that fragrance manufacturers do not have to list their ingredients on their labels. Yet many of the common chemicals found in artificial fragrance cause neurological and lung problems and are also carcinogenic. I know that the amount of the chemical matters - but without ingredient lists consumers cannot make informed decisions. I think you are right. Generations from now they wonder at how misguided we were.

Thank you for the list.
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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Tee on Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:10 am

When you look into it - it is crazy they can get away with it - The fragrance industry is self-regulated. Yet the IFRA's Code of Practice currently contains over 100 IFRA Standards for fragrance ingredients; about 40 standards prohibit certain fragrances, and about 65 others put various limitations on their use. This information is available on the IFRA Web site (www.ifraorg.org).

The FDA bans about 10 chemicals used in fragrances and does not actively regulate this industry.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/559985_6

http://www.ourlittleplace.com/fda.html

This one is a fab article - not easy to read - but some interesting facts....
http://enviroknow.tripod.com/Perfume.html

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Scary stuff

Post by Tee on Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:16 am

Compiled by Julia Kendall, Co-Chair, Citizens for a Toxic-Free Marin; Phone: (415) 485-6870
Reference: Lance Wallace, Environmental Protection Agency; Phone: (703) 341-7509
Excerpts from "Health Hazard Information"
References: Material Safety Data Sheets (MS
DS)

Principal chemicals found in scented products are:

ACETONE (in: cologne, dishwashing liquid and detergent, nail enamel remover) - On EPA, RCRA, CERCLA Hazardous Waste lists. "Inhalation can cause dryness of the mouth and throat; dizziness, nausea, incoordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, and, in severe exposures, coma." "Acts primarily as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant."

BENZALDEHYDE (in: perfume, cologne, hairspray, laundry bleach, deodorants, detergent, vaseline lotion, shaving cream, shampoo, bar soap, dishwasher detergent) - Narcotic. Sensitizer. "Local anesthetic, CNS depressant"... "irritation to the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, lungs, and GI tract, causing nausea and abdominal pain." "May cause kidney damage." "Do not use with contact lenses."

BENZYL ACETATE (in: perfume, cologne, shampoo, fabric softener, stickup air freshener, dishwashing liquid and detergent, soap, hairspray, bleach, after shave, deodorants) - Carcinogenic (linked to pancreatic cancer); "From vapors: irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting cough." "In mice: hyperanemia of the lungs." "Can be absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects." "Do not flush to sewer."

BENZYL ALCOHOL (in: perfume, cologne, soap, shampoo, nail enamel remover, air freshener, laundry bleach and detergent, vaseline lotion, deodorants, fabric softener) - "irritating to the upper respiratory tract" ..."headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure."

CAMPHOR (in: perfume, shaving cream, nail enamel, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, nail color, stickup air freshener) - "local irritant and CNS stimulant" ..."readily absorbed through body tissues" ..."irritation of eyes, nose and throat" ..."dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions" "Avoid inhalation of vapors."

ETHANOL (in: perfume, hairspray, shampoo, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid and detergent, laundry detergent, shaving cream, soap, vaseline lotion, air fresheners, nail color and remover, paint and varnish remover) - On EPA Hazardous Waste list; symptoms: "...fatigue; irritating to eyes and upper respiratory tract even in low concentrations..." "Inhalation of ethanol vapors can have effects similar to those characteristic of ingestion. These include an initial stimulatory effect followed by drowsiness, impaired vision, ataxia, stupor..." Causes CNS disorder.

ETHYL ACETATE (in: after shave, cologne, perfume, shampoo, nail color, nail enamel remover, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid) - Narcotic. On EPA Hazardous Waste list; "...irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract" ..."may cause headache and narcosis (stupor)" ..."defatting effect on skin and may cause drying and cracking" ..."may cause anemia with leukocytosis and damage to liver and kidneys" "Wash thoroughly after handling."

LIMONENE (in: perfume, cologne, disinfectant spray, bar soap, shaving cream, deodorants, nail color and remover, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid, air fresheners, after shave, bleach, paint and varnish remover) - Carcinogenic. "Prevent its contact with skin or eyes because it is an irritant and sensitizer." "Always wash thoroughly after using this material and before eating, drinking, ...applying cosmetics. Do not inhale limonene vapor."

LINALOOL (in: perfume, cologne, bar soap, shampoo, hand lotion, nail enamel remover, hairspray, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, vaseline lotion, air fresheners, bleach powder, fabric softener, shaving cream, after shave, solid deodorant) - Narcotic. ..."respiratory disturbances" ... "Attracts bees." "In animal tests: ataxic gait, reduced spontaneous motor activity and depression ... development of respiratory disturbances leading to death." ..."depressed frog-heart activity." Causes CNS disorder.

METHYLENE CHLORIDE (in: shampoo, cologne, paint and varnish remover) - Banned by the FDA in 1988! No enforcement possible due to trade secret laws protecting chemical fragrance industry. On EPA, RCRA, CERCLA Hazardous Waste lists. "Carcinogenic" ..."Absorbed, stored in body fat, it metabolizes to carbon monoxide, reducing oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood." "Headache, giddiness, stupor, irritability, fatigue, tingling in the limbs." Causes CNS disorder.

a-PINENE (in: bar and liquid soap, cologne, perfume, shaving cream, deodorants, dishwashing liquid, air freshener) - Sensitizer (damaging to the immune system).

g-TERPINENE (in: cologne, perfume, soap, shaving cream, deodorant, air freshener) - "Causes asthma and CNS disorders."

a-TERPINEOL (in: perfume, cologne, laundry detergent, bleach powder, laundry bleach, fabric softener, stickup air freshener, vaseline lotion, cologne, soap, hairspray, after shave, roll-on deodorant) - ..."highly irritating to mucous membranes"... "Aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumonitis or even fatal edema." Can also cause "excitement, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), hypothermia, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache." "Prevent repeated or prolonged skin contact."

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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Sarah on Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:27 am

Great article.

I've noticed limonene even seems to be in some 'natural' products. Not sure what to think about that!
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Re: Odors as a trigger

Post by Tee on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:15 am

I have just had some info from Green People and they say if a product contains just 1% of natural stuff it can say its 'natural'.......... crazy!.

(For the record their stuff is 90% +)

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