Moral Low Ground


Portland Considers Perfume Ban at City Hall

February 15, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in Health & Medicine with 1 Comment

The city council in Portland, Oregon is considering a ban on wearing perfumes and colognes inside city hall. The ban would apply only to city employees.

Proponents say such a move would benefit people who suffer from allergies and respiratory ailments like asthma. Strong scents like perfumes and colognes can trigger asthma attacks, and “asthma attacks can be deadly,” says Mike Tringale, vice president of the Asthma and Allergy foundation of America. Tringale told that “There are a lot of laws now that prohibit people from smoking in outdoor spaces, because of second hand smoke. This (perfume) would be considered a second hand allergen or irritant exposure as well.”

Opponents say the proposed ban is “scents-less,” symptomatic of political correctness run amok. They also worry about how the rule will be enforced and where that enforcement will end. “Will it be all fragrances? Could it be someone’s fish they warmed up in the microwave for lunch?” asked KXL Portland reporter Doug Carter.

The city council will take up the matter tomorrow.

Future fragrance-free zone?

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One Comment

  1. Mrs. JohnsonMay 1, 2011 at 11:05 amReply

    As a person who gets the asthma attack from perfume, let me reassure you that “fish warmed in the microwave for lunch” doesn’t bother those of us allergic to perfume. It is the synthetic (i.e. chemicals) fragrance that triggers the attack. If people knew what was in the perfume/cologne they are spraying on themselves each day – they make think twice. Until I came down with this problem, I was clueless, like I imagine most folks that have a problem with this ban are. Don’t we all have a right to breathe?

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