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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:08 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Boise, ID
I have severe citrus allergies and am struggling. Citrus is EVERYWHERE!

I have found that citrus and citrus derivatives are included in the fragrance and cleansers of everything from dryer sheets and carpet shampoo to kitchen cleaner. Unfortunately, it seems that manufacturers only have to note "clean fresh scent" and "organic cleansers" on the label. With the green revolution going on, many places are switching to citrus based cleaners - I had to leave work due to severe reactions when they changed the bathroom cleaner used by the custodial staff and excuse myself to use my epi pen when a co-worker peeled an orange in the conference room. How can I find out if citrus has been used in cleaners? How can I reduce my exposure to citrus when I work in a public environment?

I can't go to the mall, go down the laundry aisle at the grocery store, etc. I can't shower at the gym because the person next to me might use a citrus scented shampoo. ( I thought I was going to die the last time that happened. Literally.) I can't go to the fair because every other booth is selling fresh squeezed lemonade. I can't allow students to have energy drinks in my classroom, because several of them contain citrus. The last time I flew the gentleman in front of me had a gin and tonic - and squeezed his lime into the drink. I took benedryl right away and used my inhaler, but still wound up swollen, wheezing, voiceless and covered in hives.

Help! My allergy is eating my life. I'm frustrated, my husband is frustrated, and my children and students have become little citrus hounds - they check everything in an area before I enter a room, watch ingredients, etc. Other than taking allergy meds every day and carrying my epi pen, is there anything I can do to go back to living a somewhat normal life?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Wow! Citrus is pretty volatile stuff! I think it's great thatyou family and students get it!

Can you speak to your employer about making changes to the cleaning supplies? One should be able to assume that they will not get injured while at work (unless you work in the military, fire, police or nursing professions). I see you are in the USA. You might want to check the US Department of Labor website for workplace safety rights and regulations. http://webapps.dol.gov/dolfaq/dolfaqbyt ... ?topicID=2

Good luck!

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Hi mfcasper,

Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time.

You might also be interested in this thread on citrus allergy: http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=234

If you post there, others will likely chime in.

My 2 cents worth of advice: have you been able to test with your allergist to determine your level of inhalation tolerance before symptoms start? Most food allergies happen through ingestion - I imagine the strong scent of lemon is something different. Sounds like maybe you have food allergy and asthma?

My point is - if you could know that x amount wouldn't trigger a reaction, but xx amount would, it might give you a little more freedom in public.

best with it. Gwen

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
My son has an allergy to citrus. Thank goodness it isn't too bad, but it does effect his eczema quite bad. We've been avoiding citrus as best we can, but I know that it isn't easy especially since it seems like everything these days is made with citrus for natural cleaning. I don't allow any citrus foods in the house because once you begin to peel or cut up citrus it gets in the air and causes a reaction. My son's classroom at school is "citrus aware", they do their best to keep citrus out of his classroom. I have discovered that the eczema affecting his torso has gotten worse since the start of school. Maybe I should find out what kind of cleaners they use at the school???

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Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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