SCENT AWAY

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By Rosa Park

If you plan to visit your English, history, or Spanish professors in their offices, you are entering a scent-free zone.

Scent-free zones are areas that need to be free of strong fragrances. Sufferers of multiple chemical sensitivities can get headaches, dizziness, nausea, and hives if they touch, breathe or eat certain chemicals.

Some people have symptoms that fade; others suffer constantly. The policy on the fifth floor of Jorgenson accommodates two professors with sensitivities.

English Chair John Cook experiences breathing difficulties brought on by strong scents. Another professor on the floor can get intense headaches and nausea.

The School of Nursing is also a scent-free zone. Interim Director of the nursing school Kileen Tucker Scott supports the policy.

“I’m not against perfume, and I’m all for deodorants, but we must be considerate of others. We all have the rights to a safe environment. “There’s nothing worse than going into an exam and sitting beside someone who would give you a headache,” she said.

There are no plans to implement a school-wide policy. Julia Lewis, director of health and safety, said the school has researched and surveyed other institutions with the policy and found it generally ineffective.

“We encourage (scent-free zones), but enforcing it is a different matter,” said Lewis, adding that making an area scent-free can be confusing because too many sources could trigger allergic reactions.

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