Perfume Ban in New Hampshire? State Explains Why

New Hampshire is proposing a perfume ban for state employees
New Hampshire is proposing a perfume ban for state employees

Many women love wearing perfume, but have you ever gotten a headache from someone who has sprayed on way too much of a scent you don't like? Back in 2008, Susan McBride, sued Detroit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, claiming a coworker's fragrance made it hard for her to breathe and do her job. She was eventually awarded $100,000, and the city warned workers to avoid using scented products like perfume, cologne, deodorant, lotion, and aftershave. Now New Hampshire is looking to do the same.

State representative Michele Peckham is sponsoring House Bill 1444 which hopes to ban state employees who work with the public from wearing perfume. Apparently a constituent with extreme allergies approached Peckham with the proposal. "It may seem silly, but it's a health issue," Peckham told the Union Leader. "Many people have violent reactions to strong scents."

According to Jonathan Bayuk, an allergist at Hampden County Physician Associates, potent fragrances are more than just annoying or distracting. "There are many people who have chemical sensitivity type of issues, where they are either allergic to other things, say dust mites or mold or pollen, Bayuk told WWLP. "And then when they are exposed to chemicals or irritating fragrances they have a reaction that's very similar."

Allergies and annoyances aside, should the government be able to regulate what we smell like? Another ban was recently proposed in Louisiana to prevent people from wearing pajamas in public. Aren't there more important issues that should be dealt with than strong fragrance odors?

Should we be allowed to smell however we want to, or should there be laws against wearing perfume to work?

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