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Topic: smoke allergies  (Read 7951 times)
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lylacfey
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2012 02:59:17 AM »

I don't expect swappers to give an in-depth analysis of all allergens and potential triggers that could come in contact with swap items, especially since some things that can set off an attack aren't things people normally think to list (like artificial scents). I know I wouldn't if I didn't have to be careful. When I organize I ask for clarification if needed (Is woodsmoke okay? Are the cats in the craft room?) and have never had my head bitten off. I appreciate it when organizers ask me questions if they need to as well.

Communication is important on both sides, but there is a place to draw the line. (And I think just about everyone with an allergy or asthma or migraines, etc. has met people who don't take it seriously, even after explaining and sometimes even after them witnessing an attack. Or maybe it's a regional thing? )

I love clarification when my partner or organizer asks. I don't feel that is intrusive at all. I think that is very sweet and caring. I would think the same of my partner too that she is sweet. I would find it intrusive if my partner asks me how the smell of smoke makes me sick and then find out she is Googling about my allergen and what will happen to me. I am not a science subject. I am a person. I know I would ask to be removed from the swap and take the negative feedback.

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« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2012 03:20:23 AM »

I love clarification when my partner or organizer asks. I don't feel that is intrusive at all. I think that is very sweet and caring. I would think the same of my partner too that she is sweet. I would find it intrusive if my partner asks me how the smell of smoke makes me sick and then find out she is Googling about my allergen and what will happen to me. I am not a science subject. I am a person. I know I would ask to be removed from the swap and take the negative feedback.

Wow! I genuinely feel like this is an impossible situation. Some of the posters in this thread say they wouldn't want to give any information about their medical conditions so how else could a swap partner that is unfamiliar with that condition know how to do best for their partner? Apparently we'd be damned if we do and damned if we don't because asking someone could cause great offense and reading about the condition on wiki could cause great offense. It is no great surprise that people end up getting packages that don't conform to their medical needs when it seems to be such a minefield.
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« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2012 09:24:23 AM »

I have many other serious conditions that are triggered by my allergies and I don't openly share. For me, clarifying the parameters of what I am allergic to if a swap partner is concerned doesn't require me to explain anything about this or in-depth about the ways I react to things. If a swap partner asks out of concern for your safety if you can have ___ allergen/asthma trigger in ___ proximity to swap materials, etc. because they may have it in their house, or come into contact with someone frequently who does, it doesn't require you to explain more than a simple reply. I wouldn't find this invasive, I would find it very reassuring. In my personal opinion I think that the partner just needs to be sensitive to how they approach the person. It is not your place to tell people that their medical conditions do not exist regardless of what you have found on an internet search. Speaking in a hostile way to someone who already has to be super vigilant in their everyday life to deal with any medical condition can be very hurtful and I don't think it has any place in this community.
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« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2012 09:37:40 AM »

I don't think anyone is trying to be hostile here and I can totally see both sides of the issue.  With more and more environmental allergies appearing (to join with the old standby allergies) good communication between partners is key.  No one is ever required to share more than they are comfortable with, but I would say for a serious allergy a little more info might be in order so that your partner can craft something that you can enjoy.
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« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2012 09:49:01 AM »

It is not your place to tell people that their medical conditions do not exist regardless of what you have found on an internet search. Speaking in a hostile way to someone who already has to be super vigilant in their everyday life to deal with any medical condition can be very hurtful and I don't think it has any place in this community.

Is that directed at me? I haven't been "hostile" at all, or at least certainly not intended to seem so. I've simply tried to explain how difficult it can be to craft appropriately for a partner when the term "smoke allergy" is a misnomer and is used to cover an entire scale of conditions from people who just don't like the smell, to people who are sensitive to it, and to people who could suffer physical harm from it. As I previously stated, if you don't want to "share" about your actual condition then that is fair enough, but if someone is repeatedly getting swap goods that aren't up to scratch (Like the OP) then it might be worth considering providing more information. If you've never encountered any issues with just saying "allergic to smoke" then by all means go with what works. I was simply trying to point out how this catch all phrase can make it difficult to know which level of vigilience is required by the crafter.
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« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2012 10:46:17 PM »

I agree that 'smoke allergy' can be a very broad term.
Look at 'peanut allergies'. Some people just can't eat actual peanuts; others cannot be around peanuts at all.
'Scent allergies'. certain smells make me nauseous, but I don't get hives or start wheezing. Is it an allergy? Or a sensitivity?
Wool makes a lot of people itchy, but not get hives.
Now, I KNOW I have an allergy, to artificial sweeteners (all of them, even Stevia, which claims its 100% natural and Splenda, which is 'made from sugar'). But I don't get a reaction from, say, a single breath mint. But a Diet soda leaves me in a bad way. So, for swapping purposes, I would be fine with a Splenda based lip gloss, but not a cookie. I would simply say 'no foods made with artificial sweetener' and leave it at that. But I would also have to assume that perhaps, in my partners kitchen lies a box of Sweet N'Low, and if I were severly allergic, I would avoid all foods in a swap, because they may have come in contact with something I cannot have.
Say a swapper DOES have a smoke free home and is a non-smoker. They may have an open window or vent in their house, and smoke may enter their home in small ammounts. If their (attached) neighbors smoke, it can filter in. And, if they have rural postal service (where private citizens are paid by the PO to deliver and pick up mail) who use their own vehicle and NOT a Post Office truck proper, the delivery person may smoke as they drive. If the Post Office ramp, where they load the trucks, is outdoors, employees may smoke there as parcels are being loaded. I know firsthand the cargo (airport) Post Office workers smoke right on the runway as they load bags onto their gokarts, then they smoke as they drive the gokart, only stopping when they go indoors. If you buy yarn and wait at a bus stop and someone 200 feet away is smoking, it can ultimatly enter the bag and taint the yarn. The crafter may not smell it, but if it can kill their partner, then obviously it is an issue.
Smoke can come from anywhere, and if it is a deadly allergy, it is hard to pair someone up because you never know when airborn smoke will end up in your home or on the parcel en route. If smoke is a dislike, it is easier to pair up, because a nonsmoker in a nonsmoking home will not smoke as they craft.... but even they can't control the environment.
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« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2012 06:50:25 AM »

Now, I KNOW I have an allergy, to artificial sweeteners (all of them, even Stevia, which claims its 100% natural and Splenda, which is 'made from sugar'). But I don't get a reaction from, say, a single breath mint. But a Diet soda leaves me in a bad way.

Say a swapper DOES have a smoke free home and is a non-smoker. They may have an open window or vent in their house, and smoke may enter their home in small ammounts. If their (attached) neighbors smoke, it can filter in.

I have the same artificial sweetener allergy (or insensitivity, I haven't actually been diagnosed with an allergy).

I'm a non-smoker, but I used to live in the upstairs of a duplex and the downstairs neighbors were smokers.  All of the yarn that I had at the time smells like smoke because it sat next to one of the heating vents, so I try not to use it for swaps at all, even if my parnter doesn't have a smoke allergy.
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« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2012 08:49:15 AM »

do those of you with smoke allergies (senstivities or whatever) find you get triggered by smoke from fireplaces, or kitchen smoke (I can't say I've never severely burnt something on the stove  Embarrassed , and your house really fills up with smoke quite quickly sometimes even if you're just searing something!)?
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« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2012 10:17:53 AM »

Everyone is different, don't take my answer for anyone else, but for me: no.

I have quite a specific trigger, I don't know what it is but it's not even every tobacco. It is however in every packet of cigarettes I've had the misfortune to encounter. It is only in some pipe tobaccos and some rolling tobaccos, but if I rely on that and they change their formulation I'm wheezing, passing out and back down the hospital again, so I blanketly say smoking. There are over 200 different additives to cigarettes, not to mention it could be a particular type/types of tobacco: I realise I'll never find out. Undecided I'm not really keen on the experimental approach: a bit high in visits to A&E for my comfort!

I've had similar reactions to burning some plastics: but then so does everyone around at the time, so I usually assume that's a normal reaction and I'm safe not mentioning it.
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« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2012 03:14:33 PM »

Quote
"smoke allergy" is a misnomer and is used to cover an entire scale of conditions from people who just don't like the smell, to people who are sensitive to it, and to people who could suffer physical harm from it

But does it matter, really? Shouldn't someone who doesn't want crafts that smell of smoke just be partnered with someone who doesn't smoke, regardless of whether that smoke is going to cause them severe physical harm or whether it just means they're going to discard the craft out because it reeks and they don't like the smell?
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