Entire Family Develops Mystery Cough After Switching To Spray Deodorant, Company Responds With 10 Free Cans | Tracey Madness
* This is a work of non-fiction based on actual events that I have experienced first hand; used with permission.
When I was growing up, the whole family shared a single box of spray deodorant. None of us thought it was weird. We shared a small bathroom and kept the box of deodorant on the windowsill above the back of the toilet tank. It was a convenient central location for all of us.
We all loved the same scents and given the limited shelf space for toiletries, it made sense to share them. So when one of us switched to a new deodorant, we all switched by default.
It was around the time we all caught a mysterious cough. One after another, all the family members fell ill.
My mom took the kids to the pediatrician, but he said he was confused about the origin of the cough. He wrote a prescription for cough syrup and sent us away. The cough syrup didn’t help.
Oddly enough, we all started coughing in the morning, decreasing in the afternoon. In the evening, we thought we were fine. In the morning, we all started coughing again.
Then one day the nozzle jumped off the top of the deodorant spray can and rolled under the radiator. We couldn’t find it, even with a flashlight.
No one would wear deodorant that day. It was the only box of deodorant in the house. Nobody coughed that day either. By the time we went to bed that night, we were all without deodorant and without a cough.
My mother was the first to make the connection. She figured out the source of the cough was that box of deodorant spray and the lingering cloud that filled our bathroom every morning as we prepared for our day one by one.
We ditched the common deodorant and switched to stick deodorant, each of us getting our own tube to keep where we wanted.
My mom wrote a letter to the company that made the offending deodorant, and they were very accommodating. They sent him coupons for ten free cans. We didn’t use any.
These days I have my own bathroom and my own deodorant stick. I would never dream of sharing it with anyone. I’ve come to realize that sharing personal hygiene products is just gross. No thanks. I’ll stick to my own deodorant, thank you very much.
The experience has made us all much more aware of the products we use and the chemicals we are exposed to. It’s something we still talk about today, years later. This is how we learned that sometimes the simplest things can have a big impact on our health.
If anyone in my family starts coughing for no apparent reason, I’m the first to suspect an aerosol or something else we might have inhaled. I am particularly sensitive to insect repellents, for example.
Do you have a story about a time when you or someone you know had an experience with a product or chemical that had unintended consequences? Share it in the comments.