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Occupational Health Branch

Occupational Health Watch: August 2017

Fragrances & Work-Related Asthma

A worker sprays air freshener while sitting at her desk in an officeFragrance ingredients used in perfumes, personal care products, cleaning products, and air fresheners can trigger asthma. Fragranced products are used in many California workplaces and have been associated with over 300 cases of work-related asthma.

A new analysis of fragrances and work-related asthma found that perfume was the ninth most common exposure reported by all work-related asthma cases tracked by the California Department of Public Health's Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP). The report also found that almost a quarter of the fragrance cases were new-onset asthma, meaning that workers reported no prior history of asthma. WRAPP published the findings in the Journal of Asthma in March 2017.

To help California workers and employers address fragrances and work-related asthma, WRAPP created a new web page dedicated to this issue. The web page features relevant publications, a model fragrance-free workplace policy, and resources to find products that do not contain fragrances.


Journal Article Abstract

Work-Related Asthma Fragrance Web Page

Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program

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