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 Many links and references will be out of date but Barb's research holds up over time.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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"Scent Circle"

Everyone has a personal "scent circle": approximately an arm's length from the body. No one should be aware of your fragrance unless he or she steps inside your "circle." Fragrance should be one of the most subtle, personal messages you send to those with whom you come in contact.
The Fragrance Foundation®, Inc.

Opinion: The industry's standard is "approximately an arm's length" but that is next to impossible to adhere to with the formulation of these modern synthetic chemical scents. They are volatile organic compounds, which leave the user to become one with the air we all breathe! See NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) and their "Common Indoor Air Pollutants" at

Air is not stagnant. It moves, it flows, and it takes its chemical pollutants with it. Remember air currents?

Add to that the fact that the industry also advises people to layer up starting with toilet water and also from feet to head ... and to reapply during the day. Not to mention, synthetic scents are now made to waft further and last longer and there are more scents added to a greater variety of products than ever before. And if that isn't enough to cause unwarranted air pollution, more people are wearing more scents more places than ever before.

Seems to me, that just as is discovered with drugs when a new one is rushed to market with relatively few people using it, the more people who use synthetic chemicals, the more likely the chance that there will be obvious negative effects. Be it synthetic drugs or fragrances or pesticides, some adverse health effects come sooner to some people, than to others. But over time, everyone is subject to the negative effects of superfluous toxins. And the more people who use these products, the more likely those adverse effects will come to light. While adverse health effects of drugs affect the users, fragrances in personal care and household and janitorial cleaning and maintenance prdoucts can adversely affect both first- and secondhand users. Including pregnant women. Let me spell this out: there is evidence that embryos and fetuses can be adversely affected. See EHN's Pregnancy & Fragrance

One's reaction to synthetic fragrances could be something as insidious as "adult onset acne" due to airborne fragrance chemicals used by others (happens to me, and one of my daughters has eczema flares). Or it could be that one goes into asthma or anaphylactic shock, sinusitis, migraines or other headaches ... or a dizzying array of other symptoms. All of which are believeable by the astute doctor who stops to realize that there are over 5,000 chemicals used to formulate fragrances, tens to hundreds of which are used to create a scent, and too little toxicological data is known about those chemicals used singly. But what is known is that the chemicals include VOCs, irritants, sensitiziers, and they are suspected or known neurotoxins, carcinogens and/or teratogens (adversely affecting embryonic or fetal development).

It is past time due that our government start protecting public health and that our medical industry start recognizing that synthetic chemical products can and do cause a wide variety of debilitating and disabling illnesses. Our soaring rates of asthma, cancers, various chronic illnesses, including MCS, is more than just a bunch of psychosomatic crybabies clammoring for attention -- as we are decried by those with a vested interest.

Our soaring rate of chronic illnesses is the mark of chemical poisoning. It demands the attention of our government officials, our medical industry and our mainstream media . . . sans pharmaceutical and chemical fragrance industry biases, and without the oft-published rants of fragrance industry apologists.

In the meantime: Caveat Emptor! -- barb





Please write to the FDA in support of this petition.
Copy EHN and FPIN, if you'd care to have your letter posted --
Betty Bridges, FPIN
Barbara Wilkie, EHN (Barb's email is no longer valid, please contact EHN)

Please put FDA Letter in subject line. Thanks .

To view a sample letter, visit:


Index of Letters in Support of Petition

EHN Petitions the FDA

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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. EHN brings you topics on this page that need your immediate attention The URL for EHN's HomePage is