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Come to the BACDS English Dance Week in Mendocino, California, 
from July 12-19, 2002

Information on our Fragrance-Free Policy

A significant number of campers suffer from heightened sensitivity to solvents and petroleum products, including perfume and fragrance. These chemicals can act not only as respiratory irritants, but also as cardiac stimulants (skyrocketing blood pressure, palpitations) and neurotoxins (symptoms include tremors, mental confusion, equilibrium loss, blurred vision). Exposure to products containing even small amounts of these chemicals can cause these symptoms. Please understand that this is not a preference issue -- it is a serious health issue. Chemical sensitivity results from continued exposure to solvents and products in doses thought to be safe: this could happen to any one of us.

Because the dining hall, dance hall, dorms, and lodges are enclosed spaces, even small amounts of fragrance or scented or toxic products on a few people can add up quickly to intolerable amounts. Our fellow dancers with chemical sensitivities can attend camp only if we all work together to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in the camp environment. We will provide the bathrooms, showers, and hand-wash stations with fragrance-free soap, and there will be fragrance-free shampoo, conditioner, and hand lotion for camper use.

We ask that you please:

  • Do not wear perfume, cologne, or aftershave.
  • Do not use hair spray or dandruff shampoo -- even the unscented varieties can trigger reactions in chemically sensitive people, because they contain toxic products.
  • Use only fragrance-free, DEET-free insect repellent. Use it only outdoors, and use it sparingly, and only as needed, not as a preventative.
  • If possible, use a fragrance-free laundry detergent for the clothes you bring to camp, and do not use fabric softener. Air out dry-cleaned clothes and clothes stored in mothballs thoroughly before bringing them to camp.
  • Please consider bringing other fragrance-free personal products to use at camp. This will really make a difference. A short sampling of fragrance-free products will be listed on this page within the next few weeks.


English Week is full, with a short waiting list.

For more information, call camp manager Victoria Williams
at (510) 526-5854 or email

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