Barb Wilkie's EHN Website
Last updated 2008

EHN Board President Barb Wilkie was very ill from chemically-induced kidney disease for several years. She passed away May 31, 2011. EHN presents this site both as a tribute and as valuable information. Many links and references will be out of date but Barb's research holds up over time. We will be transferring the site page by page, with updated details, to EHN's main site. If you would like to reach an EHN staff person, please contact us directly.


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Excessive Use of Fragrance Products in
Public Places

(December 1998, Conservation Committee's Resolution 98.12.01)

WHEREAS the excessive use of fragrance products in both personal care and in cleaning and maintenance operations poses a risk to public health and an unpleasant nuisance;

WHEREAS in 1986, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) targeted fragrances as one of the six categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing, with the others including insecticides, heavy metals, solvents, food additives and certain air pollutants;

WHEREAS the NAS also reports that 95 percent of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum, such as benzene derivatives, aldehydes and other known toxics and sensitizers capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions;

WHEREAS it has been reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that toxic chemicals are present in fragrance products;

WHEREAS there has been a significant increase in the number of people with sensitivity to these fragrances, which are advertised as benign products, and these acute sensitivities can lead to debilitating and disabling conditions in men, women and children of all ages;

WHEREAS the U.S. EPA states that indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air quality and most people spend about 95 percent of their time indoors;

WHEREAS the American Lung Association and the Amer-ican Medical Association recognize that fragrance products can trigger asthma;

WHEREAS this is a burgeoning and largely unrecognized worldwide health problem; and

WHEREAS this resolution embraces the national Sierra Club¼s environmental goals, especially as stated in its policy on Indoor Air Pollution;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the San Francisco Chapter of the Sierra Club take action to discourage the use of fragrance products and encourage the use of fragrance-free products in all public places;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we advocate educating people, employers, employees, businesses and the media about the insidious nature of toxic chemical fragrance products and their role in associated illnesses and disabilities for both users and secondhand recipients alike.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the SF Bay Chapter advocate this resolution become a regional and national Sierra Club policy.



This resolution was brought before the Sierra Club's San Francisco Bay Chapter's Conservation Committee by the Toxics Committee and approved as amended by the Conservation Committee and later, the Executive Committee. The Toxics Committee presented their resolution to the Conservation Committee on December 1, 1998.

Please address letters of support and/or congratulations to:

Dick Schneider, Acting Chair and Cons. Dir. David Nesmith
Conservation Committee
2530 San Pablo Av. , Suite I
Berkeley, CA 94702-2000, USA

Telephone: 1-510-848-0800 - Fax: 1-510-848-3383
Public Transit: AC Transit #65, #72, #73, #G, #H.
Office Hours: 10 am - 5 pm, Monday - Thursday (closed Fridays & Weekends).


SF Bay Chapter acting Conservation Chair, Dick Schneider

Cons. Dir. David Nesmith

Blake Brown had been chair of the Toxics Committee at the time this resolution was passed. We all owe Blake a large debt of gratitude for all of his efforts in our regard. -- Barb Wilkie (Barb's email is no longer valid, please contact EHN)

Are fragrance products toxic products?

To learn for yourself just why YOU should be concerned about using perfumes, colognes, aftershaves and other scented products for personal care, as well cleaning and maintenance projects, please visit EHN's Citizens' Petition at

The US Food and Drug Administration is the agency "over" the cosmetics industry. However, the FDA does NOT regulate the fragrance industry. Our FDA cannot require pre-market testing, it does not test, and it cannot "require manufacturers to register their cosmetic establishments, file data on ingredients, or report cosmetic-related injuries. Recalls are voluntary actions taken by the cosmetic industry ..." The one thing FDA can do, it does not do: Require its warning message on labels of cosmetics (fragrances) released to market without adequate testing. That message reads: "WARNING: The safety of this product has not been determined."

EHN has filed a Citizens' Petition with the FDA, which was officially accepted and logged in May 11, 1999 and assigned Docket Number 99P-1340. Please write to the FDA requesting that at the very least they require their warning label on fragrances. Full contact information, the analyses which form the basis of the petition, sample letters, and other pertinent information are all available from

After three years, and nearly 1,300 letters as of early August 2002, the FDA still considers fragrances not a priority. Millions upon millions of people are adversely affected by the irritants and sensitizers known in fragrances. How many millions more people are adversely affected by the known and suspected carcinogens (capable of causing cancer), teratogens (adversely affecting embryonic and fetal development) and neurotoxins (adversely affecting brain and nervous systems) found in our modern synthetic scents? In an effort to help move the FDA in a direction toward concern for public health, Representative Jan Schakowsky (D IL) introduced HR 1947, SNIFF (Safe Notification and Information for Fragrances Act). SNIFF seeks correct labeling on fragrances released to market, to wit: "To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that fragrances containing known toxic substances or allergens be labeled accordingly." For more information, please visit

What you don't learn from our FDA, learn for yourself
And for those wishing more information, please feel free to explore EHN's site from homepage at, where you may find the "Cancer-Cosmetic?" link, which will take you to the sites of notable researchers. See Or, you may wish to see what many experts and major organizations have to say under, "Avoid Fragrances" at Or, you may wish to visit links from "Fragrances & Pregnancy" at Information abounds . . . just take your time, using EHN as your research base.

Of course, EHN has many links to a lot of information on the subject of fragrances, pesticides, EMF/EMR sensitization, for we are here in support of the already chemically injured. However, still healthy individuals can learn from our information ways to better save their health and the health of their children. The illnesses associated with our modern chemicals are often insidious. And that is coupled with the fact that our mainstream medical doctors do not get adequate training to recognize environmental illnesses or their causes. Caveat Emptor! takes on new meaning in this day and age.

And for those who wish to concentrate only on the subject of fragrance, please visit the site of EHN's Advisory Board member, Betty Bridges, RN. Betty has well-researched and documented information available on her outstanding site at

Please write to the FDA. Today!

Reference: Docket # 99P-1340 and send e-mail to:

Thank you!
-- barb


EHN is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency; donations are gratefully accepted.

EHN is staffed by volunteers who are living with Environmental Illness/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

As with all organizations, EHN depends upon your contributions of
time and energy, as well as your membership support.

Comments? (Barb's email is no longer valid, please contact EHN). Please put WWW in subject line. Thanks.

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The Environmental Health Network (EHN) [of California] is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency and offers support and information for the chemically injured. Learn from the work of Julia Kendall, get The BEST of the Reactor, join EHN and receive The New Reactor. See what influence the Chemical Manufacturers have had against those of us with EI. The URL for the home page is