A Brisbane women suffered an Asthma attack on a train after a fellow passenger sprayed deodorant.
Credit: Nomadtales

by Tomson Calland and Tim Shepherd

Concerns have been raised about the use of deodorants and other perfumes in public after an asthmatic women suffered an attack on a a Brisbane train.

Melody O’Brien has reached to out to commuters via a Facebook community group urging travelers to stop using deodorants and perfumes on public transport.

Medical Scientist, Jeffery Cheung says most people are not concerned with how safe deodorants are.

“The chemicals inside deodorants are not designed for your good health, they are designed to cover up bad smells, whether those chemicals that do that are harmful or not remains a secondary concern,” says Mr Cheung.

Using deodorants close to an asthmatic can often cause discomfort  with more severe instances having caused death.

Asthma Australia CEO Michele Goldman attributes some of the problem to a lack of understanding.

“Unfortunately with asthma it is a complex disease and most people don’t appreciate the complexity and the seriousness of the disease,” says Ms Goldman.

She suggests roll on deodorants as a good alternative but recognises the difficulties of asking people in public spaces to be accommodating and urges asthmatics to remain diligent in their asthma management.

“Perfumes, colognes, deodorants are all very common triggers for asthma and we would encourage the Australian public to just be  conscious around the use of these substances in areas, especially closed areas.”

Health and Healing Wellness Centre naturopath Tina White says using natural products to stay fresh and clean is a win-win as they are less harmful to users and others in close proximity.

“Things you can do is wipe your arms differently and put other things like not the aluminum things we talk about but there’s more natural products made available, there’s many of them,” Ms White says.