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Workplace Exposures to Fragrances and Work-Related Asthma

EMSL Analytical provides air testing services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify substances known to cause or exacerbate asthma.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Many men and women enjoy the scent of perfumes and fragrances that are found in personal care products, air fresheners and even cleaning products. However, these same scents can act as a respiratory irritant for others. Even worse, the smell of a strong perfume or fragrance could possibly trigger an asthma attack for some people with the condition.

For some asthmatics, exposure to asthma triggers, such as perfumes and fragrances, occur frequently in the work environment. Work-related asthma, also known as occupational 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.

“To address this workplace issue, the California Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) has published information for employers and workers about exposure to fragrances,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The program reports finding hundreds of asthma cases in California associated with fragrances from indoor work environments as diverse as schools, hospitals, offices and manufacturing facilities.”

The WRAPP fact sheet for employers highlights several case studies and offer tips to help prevent asthma in the workplace from exposure to perfumes and fragrances. Their suggestions include:

  • 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.
  • Bringing in adequate fresh air from the outside.

To help in these situations, the environmental scientists at EMSL Analytical, Inc. offer air testing services to detect airborne allergens and irritants. EMSL even provides all of the sampling supplies necessary to collect samples for a wide range of air testing services. These include everything from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals to microbial pollutants such as mold. They also recently sponsored an educational video about fragrances and work-related asthma that can be seen at:  

To learn more about indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene or other environmental and occupational testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email . To view the complete line of EMSL’s indoor environmental test kits, visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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