Does anyone know of a direct way to find/post listings with specific needs, such as chemically-free, chemically-safer, organic apartments?
I have reactive airway/asthma, and have tried several times to pre-arrange with the host that they at least don't use fragrance and toxic chemicals when 'cleaning' to prepare for my stay. Just got back from a trip where I was assured that this would be taken care of, only to find the house full of so many fragrances, chemicals , and air fresheners that I immediately had the worst asthma attack I've had in years. Rather than have a relaxing , enjoyable vacation, I got really sick. Although a lot of people have airway and immunity related health concerns, Air bnb doesn't have a filter for this. And because hosts don't take this issue seriously, I'm not going to be booking through Air bnb in future. I give up.
I always explain my situation before making a reservation. Something like I am chemically sensitive and would want to ensure linens are washed in a "free and clear" detergent and that no fragrances are used in cleaning products.
Unfortunately, even after taking such precautions I often have hosts who say "of course," we never use fragrances. Then when we arrive we find dryer sheets in the closets, chemically saturated potpourri sachets in every drawer, and even plug-in air "fresheners." I think they are thinking we'd really better clean this place up because these folks don't like offending smells.
We end up bagging the stuff up and putting it in a faraway closet, going out and buying sheets from a 2nd hand store. (we bring our own towels) Then hosts downgrade us as uncooperative guests.
Most hosts just see my initial message and say they will not accommodate. Although that's disappointing, it is better than renting a nightmare.
@James1037 There are so many people who just don't get it. I don't have allergies or asthma, but those chemical smells really bother me- they're disgusting. I amazed at how many people consider that bedding smells "fresh" when dryer sheets are used. "Fresh" is fresh air and sunshine.
There will be a lot more people with these problems before covid is finished off. They will have lasting damage to their lungs. I got what my doctor termed 'restricted airways disease' forty years ago as an auditor.
I had a private office (less circulating air than lower-level open space workers) with stacks and stacks of computer printouts. It turns out the phenols from the ink permanently damaged my lungs and made me more sensitive to outgassing chemicals than most people.
I wrote legislation to address the issue and got it passed by the California legislature but the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the California Medical Association both requested and obtained a veto by the governor. Manufacturers opposed for obvious reasons, Medical because they surmised chemical sensitivities were more of a mental health issue.
I then had a long career trying to regulate hazardous products but, while the European Union governs chemicals using the "precautionary principle," in California we had to prove each chemical (in isolation) is toxic (not that it is not). In the end, I could only regulate dryer sheets, etc after they become a waste. A pallet of damaged scented dryer sheets has to be disposed of as hazardous waste but the same chemicals used as products go unregulated.
@James1037 The movie Dark Waters, about the teflon dangers coverup was all about this- as you know, there are hundreds of unregulated chemicals in products that are used daily by the public.
I shake my head when I walk into some office that's just been remodeled and they have a no smoking sign on the door with the statement "We have a clean air policy". But the place reeks from the chemicals in the new carpeting, vinyl chairs, and formica counters.
Agreed, it took me no less than 15 phone calls to find a dentist in my town who didn't use plug-in air fresheners. Medical professionals are not taught about the dangers of household products... or much about food either, for that matter.
I fear the new cleaning protocol will disturb the added value of a chemical-free accommodation.....
@Emiel1 Not really. Rubbing alcohol at at least 70% is an effective virus destroyer and I can't see a sensitive guest objecting to it- it's virtually odorless. Bleach also works and as long as you wait long enough after cleaning, the chlorine and the smell evaporate.
It isn't necessary to use heavily scented chemical products to clean to COVID safe standards.
Yes as someone with multiple chemical sensitivity I can’t tolerate scented products. It would be so much easier for us to be able to find a place. It would be helpful for all people to able to choose a toxin free space if they desired one.
If anyone has a list just of places YOU HAVE STAYED that were helpful with MCS I would deeply appreciate having it- the amount of time I spend trying is 100000 trips over and $ does not help.
Yes, I would be interested in that too. I have MCS and am looking for a place to vacation on the WA state coast or OR coast.