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Topic: smoke allergies  (Read 7907 times)
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leighi123
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« on: December 12, 2011 11:09:39 AM »

Twice now I've received items that smell like smoke.   Sad  I'm super allergic and have had breathing issues both times, and even after washing the washable parts I can still smell it.   Not to mention that I have a chemical sensitive young child with lots of allergies who I don't want exposed to even third hand smoke. 

I put in my questionnaire every time, very clearly that we are very allergic to smoke.   I'm allergic to cats too, but not to the extent where it will make me stop breathing (just makes me sneeze) so I don't even include that because I can deal with it, but smoke is something I can't handle!   

So either the organizer partnered me with a smoking home, or the smoking home didn't disclose their status. 

Spraying things with febreeze or airing them out doesn't help me any, the smoke is still there!  (besides my son is allergic to frebreeze and similar)   So if you are a smoker, or if anyone in your house is, or if there is ANY chance your crafted items will be exposed to smoke, please let the organizer know so people who are truly allergic don't get packages that make them sick!    It also sucks because the items I received both times were really nice, I just couldn't use them!   
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Antidigger
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2011 01:05:03 PM »

I understand your problems with smoking. I have a similar allergy, although I've narrowed it down a little to not tobacco, but an additive used in all cigarettes, most cigars and some pipe tobacco.

Smokers just don't get it. They seem to think that it's not a problem if they can't smell it and can't understand that
a) their sense of smell is impaired
b) Air freshener makes a room smell of flowers AND cigarettes
c) A tiny amount of ventilation does not get rid of the foul chemicals.

I've not had the problem with a swapper, but I feel your pain. My sympathy to you.
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tiffi_333
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011 06:22:12 PM »

thats really unfortunate that someone wouldn't mention that they smoke since that question is asked on every swap questionnaire. My only advice since it seems to keep happening to you is to double check their questionnaire just in case the organizer made the mistake, and ask the swapper you're paired with if they smoke to make sure..if you find out they do im sure the organizer would partner you with someone else because that can be a serious issue. It might be a bit of a hassle to always have to do that, but its a lot better than getting something that could harm you and your child.
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Crying Goddess
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011 04:38:28 PM »

I'm so sorry to hear that Sad I can't believe someone wouldn't mention they smoke.
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012 08:09:17 AM »

I'm new here and not able to join any swaps yet but when i am I'd like to make sure I'm clear on this. I do smoke but never in my house. If i smoke outside and make sure my hands are washed well before i craft will there be traces that are problematic for anyone with allergies? Should i simply say i need to be partnered with someone who has no allergies or sensitivities? I would hate to make something that a partner couldn't use!
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Antidigger
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012 10:05:07 AM »

Everybody with allergies is different.

Even if you never smoke in your house, you exhale some of the compounds for a while after smoking: I find I can't hug my mother-in-law without holding my breath for about an hour after she's had a fag. The stale smoke clings to her clothes and hair all the time, so it can never be a long hug, ever, but the concentration is low enough for me to breathe for a short time after an hour.

It's really difficult to appreciate, but smoking affects the sense of smell such that they cannot detect some of the compounds in the smoke, so a smoker cannot reliably tell whether or not something smells of smoke.

If someone just objects to the smell of smoke, your precautions may well be sufficient, but the best advice is to ask.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012 12:38:12 PM »

I used to smoke and I could always tell if something was exposed to smoke. I am currently pregnant and don't smoke and don't plan to start again but I have to say that every time my father walks into my house after he had a cigarette the whole house reeks of smoke for hours! And I am not even sensitive to that stuff and can smell it. But there are people that don't mind and cannot smell it. My boyfriend is one of them, he didnt know I smoked for years, how did he not smell it is beyond me, but he just did not.
So I guess I just want to say that maybe the person who crafted the item didnt smoke, maybe they had a surprise visit from a smoker and the crafted item was in the living room area or so. I know this might seem very unlikely but you would be surprised how badly smoke attaches to stuff. My car takes few days to not smell like a bar after I give my dad a ride too, it's just annoying.
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012 03:06:32 PM »

I have to say, I'm a bit baffled by all of the smoke allergies I see on Crafster. Never in my entire life had I ever met or spoken to someone who was allergic to smoke until I joined Crafster where it appears to be the single most common allergy! I noticed it straight away after lurking around the swap boards and so I immediately Googled it because I thought "OMG is it that common?!" but couldn't find any verified information confirming it as an actual allergen other than the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America saying it can exacerbate Asthma and other allergies, which seemed kind of obvious anyway.

I myself don't smoke and I certainly wouldn't send an item that had been in a smokey environment to someone who blatently stated that they hate smoke. However I could sympathise with someone who maybe has frequent visitors that smoke, which leaves that horrible smokers' scent lingering, but doesn't consider whether the scent could surreptitiously cling to any fabrics laying around the house. I can't imagine that anyone would go out of their way to ignore a request. Perhaps if it is happening that often and you are that sensitive to it, you need to clearly state that you don't want a partner who even comes into frequent contact with smokers just to be sure that the message is clear and you are actually able to use the items you receive.
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2012 10:28:21 PM »

There are people who have other conditions that the smell of smoke can aggravate like asthma, and many other things that are less common like Lupus. Lupus and second hand smoke, even the amount that can come from a swap package, can set off a Lupus flare.  

Also, "Allergy to smoke as well as odor sensitivity can also cause migraine headaches in some people." (http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/triggers-smoking)  These headaches can be very severe and even the smallest amount of smoke causes me to have a headache.

Some people may not have smoke "allergies", however the smell of smoke bothers them in some way.  Instead of having to write a lengthy explanation, some times it is easiest to just put "allergic to smoke" on their questionnaire.  

Smoke allergies are a very real thing, even through second hand smoke.  If you are a smoker, have someone who lives with you who smokes, or have people you know who visit who are smokers, please put it in the questionnaire. And if you are allergic to smoke or it bothers you, it's a good idea to put in in the questionnaire even if allergies aren't requested.  
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012 07:16:26 PM by GatorWrangler » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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HolaKitty
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012 02:28:29 AM »

The point I was trying to make is that people tend to use the term "smoke allergies" quite flippantly.

For example if I had a craft partner who said they were allergic to smoke, I would think "Oh no! What can I do to make sure I don't inadvertantly kill them?  Shocked" And I would then begin furiously Googling my little fingers to death about smoke allergies. However, having already been in this situation I know that all my Googling would turn up is that there is no scientific evidence to confirm that smoke is an allergen so I'd just think to myself, "Oh... So I guess they just don't like smoke. Fair enough." And that would be fine because I don't smoke and I don't allow anyone to smoke in my house so I wouldn't give it another thought. However if someone said "I have Lupus and any traces of smoke could cause a flare up which could leave me in a lot of pain" then I would be a thousand times more vigiliant and wouldn't let anyone who smokes within 100 yards of my craft room.

It might take an extra 60 seconds to type out the actual reason, but it is likely to be given more consideration than "smoke allergies" which doesn't really give the whole story.
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