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  QUESTION: Where can I get information regarding the effects of  orris root? 11 Oct 2004, Texas, USA

Have you looked into scented candles and found many to have problems with depression, anxiety, fatigue, red face, headache, lack of concentration, red ears in children, hyper-activity w/children, or modified behavior?

These are symptoms that many people I have run into have been experiencing.

My husband had terrible reactions to candles, though we did not know that was the cause at the time. We went to the Environmental Health Clinic in Dallas, TX and found that was a common occurrence.

Why is this not being sent out as a warning?

I am an Arbonne consultant and have people who attend a Arbonne in-home party/class. I talk on the effects of chemical - one being scented candles - and am amazed at the number of women who suffer from the symptoms listed above. I suggest removing all candles, Air fresh plug-ins, synthetic fragrances, scented laundry and fabric softener, etc. By doing this they experience dramatic results.

Where else can I get information regarding the effects of orris root and synthetic fragrance to pass on to these people?

Thank you,
Shelly Nelson

ANSWER: 11 Oct 2004

Dear Shelly,

I empathise with your situation as I too am badly affected by fragranced products and have had to insist that the volunteers who work in our office don't wear any perfumes or aftershave to work here. It's much harder out in the real world though and I often have to move to another carriage on the train if someone dowsed in chemicals sits near me. Travelling at peak hour is impossible!

For information on fragrances, the best source I've found is the website of the Fragranced Products Information Network (FPIN) in Virginia - - whereas I had no idea that orris root is used in perfumes until I did a search after reading your email and found the following at

Orris root is the root of Iris florentina. When ground it is used as a fixative in perfumes & potpourris. You usually sprinkle some of the oil on the orris & stir it together to cover it with the scent. Then you add it to the potpourri.

Orris root is also highly allergenic. A lot of people are allergic to orris root. But I have been told that many manufacturers are now using new fixatives for fragrances. I can only use a couple different kinds of make-up such as Clinique, and others that are not available in my area and are much more expensive than Clinique!! I break out in hives or have sneezing fits if get too much exposure at one time!!

I hope this helps although it's getting off the track of lead poisoning prevention!

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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