Woman faces reduced charge in scents case

November 27th, 2003

To the Editor,

Your article, “Woman faces reduced charge in scents case” by Pat Moore indicates that charges brought against a woman for intentionally damaging her husband via the use of household products containing toxic chemicals were reduced. This was due to the prosecutor concluding that the sprays never “touched” the husband despite his being injured by them.

Science does not support such a conclusion. Fumes from sprays are intended to “touch” people, entering our bodies through nasal and oral passages and via absorption through the skin and eyes. Many air fresheners work via placement of a fragranced, oily “film” in your nostrils to overwhelm more unpleasant scents. The CDC and the EU have both recently published studies indicating that every person has a surprising array of toxic chemicals in their bodies which got there via airborne residues from common household and office products.

All that happens legally until you add “malice aforethought”. These products contain registered poisons and can become weapons in the hands of one who knows another person is vulnerable to their adverse effects. The concept of “touching” does not apply when a “weapon” is dispersed into the air. The chemical trespasses occurring daily in society via this modality, affects every segment of society. Malice may be absent but profit motives and the lack of warning on labels that a product contains poisons which can minimally be regarded as “respiratory” irritants or neurotoxins should be considered a crime against the consumer.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: Palm Beach Post

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