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In an effort to support a healthy and comfortable environment for patients and staff, BWH has implemented a fragrance-controlled work place policy.
According to the policy, staff are encouraged to refrain from using moderate to strongly scented products.
“The use of scents and fragrant products, other than minimally scented personal care products, is discouraged throughout the hospital, particularly in clinical areas,” said Marlene Freeley, MS, RN, director, Occupational Health Services (OHS) at BWH.
Fragrances are considered to be scents incorporated into products that are intended to produce an attractive smell to others, in addition to the user. Some examples include colognes, perfumes, after-shave products, soaps, lotions, powders, deodorants, hair products and other personal products.
Such fragrances can adversely affect the health of individuals with certain medical conditions such as asthma, allergies and migraine headaches. Also, patients who are undergoing medical therapies, which cause nausea and vomiting, such as chemotherapy, can be especially sensitive to strong scents.
Employees concerned with the scents or odors associated with products used while performing their job duties should contact their department’s Product Committee representative to determine if there is an appropriate substitute product. In addition, employees with concerns or symptoms due to fragrance exposure or those interested in obtaining BWH’s “A Fragrance Free Environment” brochure should contact OHS at ext. 2-8501.