Mother Takes High School to Court Over Sprayed Scents, Citing ADA
"No cell phones in school, no rough housing on the playground, no perfume in the hallway?
One Indiana high school could have a zero tolerance policy on cologne, perfume, and other sprayed body scents if concerned mother Janice Zandi wins a court case she's filed against the Fort Wayne Community High Schools for not banning the scents that her son J.Z. is allegedly allergic to.
Seventeen-year-old J.Z. has had to be treated for a reaction at school several times in the last year in connection with his allergy, thrice requiring an ambulance to nearby Parkview North Hospital, where he was treated for respiratory distress.
Claiming that the school district's refusal to protect her son with a fragrance ban violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, Zandi filed the suit Nov. 12.
But several allergists contacted said they had never heard of an actual allergy to sprayed scents and noted that an allergy would be highly unlikely given the size of the particles in perfume."
Fragrance sensitivity is stunningly common. In a 2009 study, researchers Caress and Steinemann say, “Results aggregated from both surveys found that 30.5% of the general population reported scented products on others irritating, 19% reported adverse health effects from air fresheners, and 10.9% reported irritation by scented laundry products vented outside.”
Perfumes and other fragrances found in air fresheners, cleaning, and personal care products are irritants and often contain unregulated chemicals, some of which have been found to be on the United States Environmental Protection Agency hazardous waste list (Steinemann AC).
Fragrance sensitivity is a recognized disability under the ADA. See JAN - Accommodation and Compliance Series - Employees with Fragrance Sensitivity
Fragrance chemical sensitivity is recognized by many governments and organizations around the world, including the American Lung Association, American Medical Association, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Education. Social Security, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, The German Institute of Medicine, Japanese Ministry of Health, Government of South Australia (http://mcs-america.org/index_files/MCSRecognition.htm).
A startling number of hospitals, schools, and employers, including the CDC and DOE themselves, have recognized the serious nature and human toxicity of fragrance and have enacted fragrance free policies (http://mcs-america.org/index_files/FragranceFreePlaces.htm).
How is it possible that the CDC and DOE have already accommodated a disability that these so-called allergists in the article claim to know nothing about?