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About Tanya Marie Smith

This research project has sought to gain an understanding about how people experience the introduction of a scent-free initiative within an institution, specifically social work graduate students at the Faculty of Social Work. This study explored students’ experiences by addressing knowledge, personal practices, impressions, barriers and facilitators, as well as recommendations associated with the scent-free initiative. Scent and fragrance-free initiatives and policies are critical for the full inclusion of people who have become disabled by chemicals in the environment. Scents and fragrances are made up of many chemicals which are by-products of the petrochemical industry and play a role in the exclusion of people living with Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (ES/MCS) within our society. ES/MCS is an emerging illness that is increasing in prevalence and is directly related to the increasing contamination of our environment, including the built environment. This topic is relevant to the field of social work, especially in light of the mandate of the profession’s commitment to social justice. Social workers have an important role to play not only in direct support roles, but also advocacy, community mobilization, education, policy, organizations, as well as political pressure. By focusing on the experiences of social work students who have been newly introduced to a scent-free initiative within their academic institution, this study seeks to not only uncover the complexity of these experiences, but also provide insight into how to best implement scent and fragrance-free policies and initiatives in a way that promotes equity and accessibility for people living with ES/MCS.


Honors and Awards

  • Nomination for Gold Medal Award for Academic Excellence


Present Master of Social Work Student, Wilfrid Laurier University

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