David Tywoniuk has been affected by scented products for most of his life. In fact, if you have ever been to his business, David T’s Auto Centre, one of the first things you will notice (besides all the cool Camaros & Firebirds) is a huge sign on the window indicating how seriously he takes this issue of Fragrance Free Living.

Following is the card that is handed out to inform everyone of the Website:

Here is David’s personal story. Maybe you will relate to some of this.

I consider myself to be a fairly level-headed, intelligent person.  I have no allergies and am very healthy. About 15 years ago, at the age of 32 (that would make me 47 if you don’t feel like doing the math), I began to understand why I was experiencing drastic mood changes-from one extreme to the other.

I was an Auto Body Mechanic. Although I never smoked, this industry is so loaded with toxic fumes that my sense of smell was deadened. When people would ask me how I could stand the smell, I would jokingly reply “What smell?” Everyone’s body can adapt and adjust to toxic scents. It was only after I quit this part of the business that I began to notice the reaction I was having to scented products.

I purchased a car from a valued customer. Whenever I drove it, I would experience headaches and my lungs would hurt. Even with the t-tops off and windows down, I could not get any relief, obviously causing me a lot of anxiety. I tried repairing the exhaust, sealing and caulking the floor pan and engine compartment seals but nothing worked. Eventually I parked the car.

Around the same time, my customers started to annoy me; I felt an instant dislike for at least one out of every three people who entered my business. I lost my patience. Thinking I was actually losing my mind, off to the doctor I went. The answer—an anti- anxiety drug of some sort. This helped a bit cause now I was high on drugs, covering up what was really ailing me. However, relief was only temporary.
On my way to an out of town trade show with my girlfriend, I experienced another unexplained incident. I started to feel tense and anxious for some reason. I grabbed for a pill only to realize I had left them at home. This caused me more anxiety and anger. How was I going to manage this trip without my pills? I started punching the steering wheel in a rage as now I would have to turn around; I’d be late for the tradeshow, so in my unstable state, I just stayed home. Being a very strong willed person, I flushed the pills down the toilet, thinking they were the cause. They were not going to be my first addiction.

About a month later, the gentleman I had purchased the car from came for a visit. Within moments of his entering the shop, I was overcome with the same reactions I had been experiencing both in his old car, with my girlfriend on the way to the trade show, and with many of my customers. I had no reason to dislike this man; he was a valued customer. The light bulb went on and all the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. The scent of his cologne was absolutely overwhelming and it had absorbed into the car’s upholstery and carpet. The scented products on my girlfriend and many of my clients were affecting me both physically and mentally. From that day on I started to pay close attention to how I felt around scents, everything from hyperactivity to depression, lack of energy, wheezing, uncontrolled shaking, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, anger, violent mood changes, and attention deficit disorder to erectile dysfunction.  What a relief to know that I wasn’t in fact crazy although at this point you might be considering it. Please keep an open mind and keep reading. Backtracking from my childhood, it was a relief to finally have some answers instead of excuses for some of the incidents that had taken place—all triggered by scented products.

Hopefully some of this has made you more aware of the negative affects that scented products have on some people. I experience none of the above reactions in a fragrance free environment.  Products like perfume, cologne, shampoo and other hair products, hand and body lotion, makeup, deodorant, laundry products, household cleaners, things we all use on a daily basis are, in fact, affecting your health and well-being as well as others.

Here is a really good reason as to why you might want to try “Fragrance Free Living”. Did you know that the ingredient “Fragrance” used in most of the above products can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate, mostly man-made ingredients? Many compounds in fragrance are human toxins and suspected or proven to cause cancer. Symptoms reported include: headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discolorations, violent coughing and vomiting and allergic skin irritation. Observations by medical doctors have shown that exposure to fragrance can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioural changes (Home Safe Home, Debra Lynn Dadd). 100% of perfumes contain toluene, which can cause liver, kidney and brain damage as well as damage to a developing fetus.

Maybe you will think twice before you apply perfume and other scented products to your body; you could be causing yourself and others a great deal of harm in your desire to smell nice. Still not convinced? Check out some of the scenarios and other people’s testimonials.  We look forward to reading your thoughts in the “Your Comments” section.