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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Tale Of A Shirt

One of the most dreadful playground insults was to say to someone “You’re frit!” which means more or less that you accuse them of cowardice in the face of the teacher or that big girl whose father is a professional wrestler.

This is about one of my old shirts. On previous posts you will know that when we go out we take extra-ordinary precautions and allied to this have to monitor everything all the time. If you have anaphylaxis it comes with the package. At present we have plastic bags containing our “going out gear”, clothing that is already contaminated albeit washed, used when we go to a place knowing that there are risks.

Over the winter I have been using an old rugby shirt but with the warmer weather needed something lighter. So I pick out a well used cheap shirt that I think will wash easily and be less trouble. At start this is totally free of fragrance having gone to the back of the wardrobe a little time ago.

After outing one when I arrive home it smells of fragrance which has to come from airborne haze as it has not been in contact directly with any surface (as I say we take precautions). It is washed but still smells. Outing two also with airborne haze only and again it smells and into the wash. Outing three and same again and into the wash.

When it has dried not only do I notice that it still smells but the waft is getting stronger and more penetrating. Yet the detergent is fragrance free, no fabric conditioner or other substance has been used and it has not been in contact directly with anything and on arriving home always goes straight into the dedicated washing bag. However, this bag is not the same but is changed at times to prevent the bag itself adding to the problem.

Is this an accident or is there now in the fragrance haze so common elements from say fabric conditioners particularly and such that are chemically engineered to have the effect of intensifying the aromatics after successive washes? So that washing makes the level of contamination actually worse and for those affected more dangerous?

I repeat that this contamination comes only from the airborne haze that arises from the substances and particulates in the detergents, fabric conditioners, perfumes and air fresheners that cover so many people. We know that they can travel many yards, are designed to adhere and are able to transfer from one substance to another.

If a simple cotton shirt cannot be cleansed of this stuff and in fact made worse by washing and careful treatment what is happening in the air I breathe? More to the point what is happening inside me? What is happening to others? This is not a scare story it is a simple account of a simple experience.

Honest, I’m frit, really really frit, and I’m not frit to admit it.

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