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Work Exposures to Fragrances and Perfumes Could Cause or Exacerbate Asthma Cases in Puerto Rico

Zimmetry Environmental provides indoor environmental testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate respiratory irritants and asthma triggers.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

Exposure to fragrances and perfumes is just one of many known substances that can trigger an asthma attack.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the asthma rate in Puerto Rico is as high as 19%, while in the rest of the United States the rate is below 8%. Asthma can be caused by exposure to a number of different respiratory allergens and irritants, including perfumes and fragrances in the work environment for some people. For those asthmatics, this would be a form of work-related asthma.
Work-related asthma is a lung disease that can cause a shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing after exposure to an allergen or irritant at work. A severe case can be disabling and in extreme circumstances, an asthma attack could result in death. 
To provide information on exposure issues associated with perfumes and fragrances, the California Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) has published information in both English and Spanish for employers and workers. The program reports finding numerous asthma cases associated with exposures to fragrances from indoor work environments as diverse as schools, hospitals, offices and manufacturing facilities. Tips provided by WRAPP to help prevent asthma in the workplace from exposures to perfumes and fragrances include:

  • Bringing in adequate fresh air from the outside.
  • Training employees about the health effects of fragrances.
  • Having a fragrance-free policy.
  • Prohibiting the use of air fresheners in the workplace.
  • Fixing or removing what is causing bad odors.
  • Choosing fragrance-free cleaning products.

“Exposure to fragrances and perfumes is just one of many known substances that can trigger an asthma attack,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Common workplace exposures that can cause the condition include contact with chemicals, dust, mold, animals and plants. With work-related asthma, an employee’s asthma symptoms may start at work or within several hours after leaving work and may occur with no clear pattern. Workers who never had asthma before can develop asthma due to workplace exposures and those who have had asthma for years may find that their condition worsens.”
In Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean, companies and institutions can turn to the indoor air quality (IAQ) and building science professionals at Zimmetry Environmental to identify and resolve environmental asthma triggers in the workplace. They test for a wide range of chemical and microbial triggers and respiratory irritants and help to eliminate or mitigate identified exposure concerns. Zimmetry has even sponsored an educational video about fragrances and work-related asthma that can be seen at:
To learn more about Zimmetry’s asthma trigger, indoor air quality, environmental, and compliance testing and consulting services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.

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 Puerto Rico
 Air Testing
 Industrial Hygiene
 Indoor Air Quality

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