Doctors have called for a ban on perfumes and aftershaves in hospitals and clinics. They say they contain chemicals that can lead to asthma and allergies. Over half of asthma attacks are caused by strong smells, such as perfumes, aftershaves, cigarette smoke, cleaning fluids and other strong odours. Dr Ken Flegel and Dr James Martin of McGill University wrote about the dangers of smells in hospitals. They said: "Hospital environments free from artificial scents should become a uniform policy, promoting the safety of patients, staff and visitors alike."
Strong smells affect many of us. Around a third of people say they are physically affected by scents. The doctors said this should be a serious concern in all hospitals. They wrote that although artificial scents try to make us more attractive, they may harm people who have weaker bodies. There is more and more evidence that artificial scents make asthma worse. The doctors said this is particularly worrying in hospitals where there are many patients with asthma or skin problems. They warn that perfumes and aftershaves can make a patient's condition worse.