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Workplace Issues: Offending Scents In The Office

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Next, we have a defense of this seemingly eccentric boss. We heard about several such bosses yesterday, former employees told of unusual workplace rules. One boss was so sensitive to certain smells that she told employees to use only certain approved detergents or body lotions. A person who did not would be sent to a special room to change.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Numerous people wrote in support of that boss.

INSKEEP: From Bloomington, Ind., June Wickbolt (ph) writes,

(reading) not liking a smell is not the issue. The chemical compounds that make up artificial scents and just about everything are irritants for a number people.

GREENE: Sue Weisshar (ph) of San Jose is one of them. She writes, (reading) I am so sensitive to toxic chemicals and fragrances, my throat constricts, and I can't draw a full breath.

She reports headaches, burning eyes, vertigo or nausea.

INSKEEP: Lori Gershick (ph) of Mesa, Ariz., adds this. (Reading) Work can be hell for me, as my colleagues use scented laundry detergents, hair products, etc. It makes me ill. Keep your smells at home.

GREENE: And we welcome your comments about this program anytime. You can reach us by email. The address, morningedition - all one word - @npr.org. We're also on Twitter. It's @MorningEdition. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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